One morning I went to a weekly prayer meeting at my church. I arrived as worship was getting off the ground, and after about 15 minutes, one of the meeting leaders came in and greeted a few people. He put his hand on my shoulder, prayed for me, and encouraged me with a few verses from Matthew 6 that he felt led to share. We probably all know these verses well:
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:31-34/NIV
As he spoke, my mind responded, “Of course! I know all of this!” But for some reason, I wanted to cry. I could feel the disconnect from my head to my heart, yet couldn’t make any sense of it. I held it together for the remainder of the meeting and planned to talk to God about what I had experienced once I arrived home, with a quick stop for a Chick-fil-A breakfast biscuit in between. As I opened up the bag, I furrowed my brow. I first lifted a cookie and then out came a brownie. Let’s be clear: I’m the biggest fan of their desserts; I just didn’t order them. I quickly checked my receipt – no charges for the extras.
I set the sweets aside and retreated to my room to have a little discussion with God, but to my surprise, there was no discussion. As I opened my Bible to Matthew 6, my eyes were immediately met by the words, “So do not worry about tomorrow.” My heart wrenched, and a geyser of tears came forth– those tears I suppose I’d shoved down earlier. Each time I tried to read the phrase, I heard His voice instead, speaking it directly to me. The voice was so gentle and humble that I almost couldn’t stand it. I wanted to bury my face. My heart was sliced open, exposed, and flooded with waves of His compassion all at once, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around any of it – an experience I’ve come to know as the convicting touch of God.
I’ve known God’s provision more in the past three years than ever before, which left me wondering why my heart was still gushing with worry. Slowly, the Holy Spirit unfolded it before me. The gentle and humble voice that I heard earlier revealed the lie: “You believe that my Fatherhood is my burden, not my delight.” There it was! My biggest worry of all was not that He wouldn’t take care of me, but what was His heart posture in doing so. I imagine Him being displeased and disappointed in me for falling on the job; therefore, I still make vast attempts to care for myself by shouldering the worries of life, all because I long for Him to be proud of me, pleased with me, and love me. Far be it from a good Father to settle for His child trusting His hand, but not His heart.
I’m overwhelmed by His kindness in addressing a belief so deeply rooted in the garden of my heart, one I was unaware it was even there at all. The root may be old, but it’s still tender in His hand. I feel it all – no anesthetic. The rotten root is being gently shaken from its home. A hole is left in the ground as the bitter root pours out through my tears. Soon, I’ll be empty, and he’ll bless that very spot to grow a new thing. “So do not worry about tomorrow,” the very voice of Jesus rings out in my heart repeatedly. That is the seed He places in the ground that is newly churned up and ready to receive. And he waters it with a free Chick-fil-A cookie and a brownie; that is what the delight of the Father is like.
If there is something specific that has been troubling your heart, I encourage you to invite the gentle touch of God into that place. It’s as simple as telling him you want it – want to experience and receive the ministry of His Holy Spirit in your heart and mind, want Him to renew and refresh places of pain or fear with the Truth of His nature. As you invite Him, I believe you’ll find He’s already there, waiting for you.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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