The past couple of days I have been moving things around in my house to prepare for the possibility of flooding. Our area is supposed to be getting a ton of rain in the next few days and flash flooding can be an issue in our area. As I move around things that I haven’t looked at or used in months, I wonder why I even need all this stuff. The short answer is that I don’t.
As much as I used to think I was, I am not an organized person. I wish I were, but I am not. I admire Pinterest photos of perfectly organized home offices and kitchens but mine is far from it. Most organized people say that the key is first to purge what you don’t need and then you can find places for what is important.
As I think about purging my material possessions, I realize there’s something in my spirit that needs purging. It’s definitely a good thing to go through our homes on occasion and purge those unnecessary items, but it’s even more important to assess our hearts and minds and purge those unnecessary and sometimes very harmful things we harbor.
Things I need to purge that have come up with this situation is worry and fear. I used to call myself a worry wart. From early on I would contemplate the worst case scenario happening in any circumstance. Going on field trips and to youth camp I would be the one with the most bags packed full of items needed “just in case.” Over the years I have gotten better. I still like to be prepared, but I try not let fear rule my life.
But when the forecast showed all the rain that’s coming, my immediate reaction was to worry. I literally made myself sick worrying. I went over every scenario in my mind of what could happen and I tried to plan and prepare for everything “just in case.” What makes this worse is when you’ve been through it before like I have. You know it could happen and so you worry about going through it all over again. But we can’t let fear drive our decisions. All we can do is pray, give it over to God, and trust that He will take care of us no matter the circumstances. Then with a peaceful mind, we can prepare as needed.
I live in a hurricane prone area and we always prepare for a hurricane we know is coming, but ultimately we must trust God with the outcome. The threat can be very real, but God is still in control. Trusting in God doesn’t mean that we pretend the threat isn’t coming. As my mom always says, “God gave us a brain and common sense for a reason.” We can and should still prepare for disasters but we are to place our trust in God, not our preparations. We are to accept His peace and not let fear dictate how we live.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
Sometimes it’s hard not to worry, but worrying can’t help anything. Actually, it can make things worse. God wants to give us His peace. So we must purge the worry, the fear, the anxiety…all of it. We must purge it from our lives and fill those places up with prayer and trusting in God and finding His peace. It’s a crazy feeling when I stop thinking my worry can fix anything and trust God instead. So soon after I pray and give my worry over to Him, I am filled with His peace. As the verse above says, it really does exceed anything we can understand.
So even as I am now facing the coming storm, I am trusting God to take care of us. Whether we flood or not, God is in control and will provide for us. I am praying and asking for His protection and care and I ask that you do the same, not just for us, but for everyone in the path of this storm.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. – Matthew 6:25-34 NLT