Life circumstances can threaten to overwhelm me at times. Stacks of responsibilities and deadlines simultaneously pull me in multiple directions. The best (actually worst) example for me lasted a number of years. My husband was very ill, eventually requiring a liver transplant. I supported him through frequent doctor appointments, trips to the specialist 100 miles away, hospital stays, all while working a very demanding, full-time job. Eventually, during one of those hospital visits, the doctors advised us that my husband would not survive if discharged without a new liver. So, there he waited as I balanced work, insurance issues, maintaining our home, and visits so far away.
As exhausting as it was, I am so grateful that God gave me the strength to carry on. Each day I would meditate on Philippians 4:4-9:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Sometimes I’d read those verses over and over before my mind could grasp and relax into them.
Priscilla Shirer, in her Discerning the Voice of God study says, “God is the God of right now. He calls us not to be regretful over yesterday or worried about tomorrow. He wants us focusing on what He is saying to us and putting in front of us today. The enemy’s voice will focus on the past and future.”
Boy do those words speak wisdom! When I was smack dab in the middle of my husband’s illness, or even today when I am feeling overwhelmed with life circumstances, I need to stay present – not worried about where this is all going, full of regrets about what should have been done differently, how I got here or how I’ll get through it all. God is the God of right now, and He is with me in the right now. I can trust He has a plan that I cannot see from my limited vantage point.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
My husband did receive his transplant, but eventually went home to be with the Lord. The experience had a deep impact on who I am today. It put many things into perspective and even now surfaces as a reminder of what’s important. It prompts me to let the little things go. It deepened some relationships and developed compassion for others in situations I otherwise would not have understood. It even evokes warm feelings of the satisfaction and reward that come from having served another in their time of need.
As Discerning the Voice of God notes, God is the God of right now. I don’t have to let circumstances overwhelm me, or try to figure out what will happen, where this is all going, or what His plan is. In the words of Priscilla, “Want to know God’s will for you? Well, what has He put before you today? Do it.”