Crazy Love by Francis Chan is a great book for a number of reasons: First, it speaks of the intensity of God's love for us, and how incredible that is based on what we really are as his sinful, disobeying beings created in His image. Second, it really puts into perspective the fact that God is God and we are not. No matter how much of a control freak you are, the simple truth is that God holds us in the palm of His hand and can and will do as He pleases. He is God. He is allowed. He answers to no one, and certainly of all things, not to us. Thankfully, He is a loving, compassionate, merciful God. Slow to anger and always true to His promises. Thankfully again, one of those promises is his gift of a savior so that we are not stuck in our awful, wretched condition.
In this chapter I read tonight, Chan specifically addresses our tendency to worry and stress. These words were highly convicting as I've spent the last week and a half stressed over the end of the school year and the measly little things in my world. He says:
But then there's that perplexing command: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4). You'll notice that it doesn't end with "...unless you're doing something extremely important." No, it's a command for all of us, and it follows with the charge, "Do not be anxious about anything" (v. 6).
That came as a pretty staggering realization. But what I realized next was even more staggering.
When I am consumed by my problems--stressed out about my life, my family, and my job--I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.
Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives.
Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.
Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.
Wow. Harsh words. Filled with truth.