Having the right understanding of God frees us from the weight of our burdens and allows us to rest in His exceptional power and presence.
"He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is his name." Amos 4:13 (NIV)
Raising well-adjusted kids.
Building a good relationship with my husband.
Even answering the phone.
So often I feel like it all depends on me. And honestly, I doubt my ability to get everything done, and do it well. Yet I know I'm not alone.
Who doesn't feel the pressure of higher grocery bills and mouths to feed? What employee doesn't carry the weight of doing a good job? What parent doesn't fear their child will give into peer pressure, drugs, or sex?
Yet, all this worry tangles our thoughts into anxious knots. When we feel as if everything depends on us, it can be a heavy burden to carry alone.
Here's the thing. You and I are not alone, or responsible for making all things turn out fine. I'm learning that when I feel alone, I've forgotten God is always with me.
And when I'm feeling incapable, it's usually because I've forgotten to acknowledge His presence and power in my life. It makes all the difference.
However, looking to God's presence and power to help us doesn't mean anything without the right understanding of Him. We need to know and believe just how mighty and aware of us God really is.
Otherwise, it's easy to look at our limitations and feel like they limit Him.
What we end up with is a God who is only a little bigger, a little better, a little stronger, and a little wiser than we are. Basically, He becomes a super-sized version of us.
The problem is that it makes God too small. And when we have a small God, we feel like He depends on us to do a good job, just like everyone else.
I especially felt this way when I became a parent. I thought if I read all the "how-to" books on raising kids and gave it my best efforts, I would most likely succeed. If I learned the ins and outs of parenting, and tried with all my strength to do what the experts recommended, I could do a good job. I believed the lie that happy, successful children depended on my efforts. Which made me feel very stressed, and alone.
It wasn't until I joined a Bible study that I started to "get" God and really grasp the wisdom and guidance He provides. Once I learned to depend on His provision and direction, I no longer felt like I had to raise my kids based solely on my own knowledge and performance as a mom.
God never intended for us to live under the stress and pressure of everything depending on us. It's when we depend on Him instead of ourselves that we experience supernatural strength and provision. Look back at our key verse and mediate on His greatness for a moment.
"He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is his name." (Amos 4:13)
If the Lord can do all this, surely He can equip and empower us for our daily tasks whether they include doing dishes, parenting well, finishing a work project or folding laundry.
On the other hand, if we set out to make ourselves the measure of all things, we will never experience the full blessing or "get" the full benefit of God's greatness.
It doesn't have to be this way. Having the right understanding of God frees you and me from the weight of our burdens and allows us to rest in His exceptional power and presence.
Dear Lord, set my sights on You and Your great attributes. Help me to live in Your presence, dependent on Your guidance each day of my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
When you feel afraid, burdened or depressed, is your focus on God or yourself?
How can acknowledging God's power and presence lift your cares and lighten your mood? Re-read our key verse from Amos 4:13 for a greater understanding of who God is.
James 4:8a, "Come near to God and he will come near to you." (NIV)
Acts 17:28a, "For in him we live and move and have our being." (NIV)