Matthew 6: 31-34 “Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” 32 Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. 33 But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.
34 Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today. “
I have a secret super-power: problem-solving. O.k., maybe its not so secret, and maybe others of you wouldn’t consider it a super-power, but truthfully I am a very good problem-solver. I see something is a problem, I can name the problem and I can give you the steps to rectify the problem in very short course. Most of the time, this holds me in really good stead. But on occasion; like with the Pandemic, the depth and the length of the problem solving is just too much for my brain to handle, and I burn out. Or, on the rare occasion (OK, very often) when people don’t appreciate me problem solving their lives for them, and I get told, either subtly or not so subtly to leave them alone, then I lie awake at night problem-solving my way out of solving the problem.
My response to stress is to problem-solve. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But the bottom line is that I can’t ‘turn-off’ this response to stress very easily. I trust it.
I have a friend who is the ultimate in a care-giver. She has the kind of home that welcomes all sorts of family members for long stays, and she is at the helm, cooking and providing for all of their needs. People flock to her. She is much loved and revered for her care-giving. Her response to stress is to look after people. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, when people don’t actually need or want the care that she’s offering then she gets hurt and upset. But she can’t easily ‘turn-off’ this response to stress very easily. She trusts it.
I have another friend who is beautiful, smart, talented and very competitive. She excels at just about everything she tries. She is greatly admired for her abilities and she isn’t afraid to let people know about her accomplishments. Her response to stress is to compete harder for the number 1 position. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When she is toppled from her podium by someone she gets hurt and upset, but she can’t ‘turn-off’ this response to stress very easily. She trusts it.
I could go on – tell you about my friend who is the ultimate advocate – or the one who is the ultimate researcher – or the one that can ‘just tune in’ to another plane in this world. All sorts of people; all sorts of super-powers.
(Now before you all get mad at me for writing you into this blog – I just need to tell you that those scenarios above are ‘composites’ of a whole lot of people I know. To make a point. And if you don’t see yourself in those scenarios (trust me I could’ve written a ton), then just consider your own response to stress and what you trust to get you out of it).
The point that I’m trying to make is that, yes, we’ve all been gifted with special things that make us unique and wonderful. But, I think we’ve forgotten, as wonderful as we are, that there are bounds and limits to us. And, where these bounds stop us short, that’s where we need to be mindful that God is boundless, and the outer edges of our abilities can’t take us to the places that God wants to us to go. Because that requires us trusting God, rather than trusting our ‘super-powers’.
If anything God has taught me in the last 19 months is that I can’t problem-solve my way out of the pandemic. I really want to, and yes, I have lost sleep trying to figure out what the next steps are, but then I hear God’s ‘still small voice’ reminding me that I’ve hit my outer bounds and I need to trust that God’s got this. “Don’t worry about tomorrow”, has become my new mantra. And then I follow it up with the famous verse from Psalm 46:10 “Be Still and Know that I am God”.
So, my dear Bethel peeps – join me this week not only being honest about your stress response, but also honest about when you hit the outer limits of your own super-powers. God’s got this. And that really is something that we can trust.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Blessings today and remember you are Loved.
P.S. Today’s pic is Rev. Takouhi’s. Not mine. She’s wayyyyyy more talented than me. One of her super-powers!