Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God.” (NET Bible)
In this week’s chapter, Thrasher cited O. Hallesby’s definition of prayer: “an attitude of our hearts toward God…an attitude of helplessness” that drives us to God rather than to anxiety (19). He encouraged us to look in scripture for “specific promises that can transform our fear responses into faith responses” (20), and to trust God with our “Isaacs.”
To have a God upon whom we can cast our cares—what a blessing! I imagine many of you out there are “strivers” like me. As I pick up the kids’ dirty laundry, write the next story, or prepare the next lecture, I often have a goal of excellence in mind. Now I think God enjoys excellence—but not when the idea of excellence controls us and produces anxious barking at family members or stress-related disease. Unfortunately, these unwanted results often accompany my pursuit of success.
I have a full schedule this semester, and as a new PhD student, of course I want to perform well. Even so, I have found myself smiling and laughing more than I have in a long time. What has made the difference? This time I began praying specifically about each fear and looking intently for the small blessings that keep me putting one word after another, those serendipitous circumstances that teach me that He hears me. And He cares.
Have you found your “Isaacs” this week—those gifts that you cling to and try to control all by yourself? What do you find is your biggest obstacle to trusting God with what you find most precious?
Let us know your thoughts. And don’t forget to journal!