As I sat with the Lord this morning, I poured out my requests to Him. I ask for this person's salvation, the rescue of that marriage, the health of this one, and the finances of another... the more I asked the more overwhelmed I began to feel. Lord, the requests are never ending... the needs, the pain, the difficulty acute. I felt heavy laden and burdened. It is not my load this morning that weighs my heart, but the loads, the Mac-truck load of others.
And then I read... "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort" (2 Cor. 1). And, I decided to praise. I chose to just worship. Any small amount of compassion that I feel this morning is from Him. He owns it! He is the "Father of compassion and comfort". I confessed to Him that He was Lord, He was big, His plans are higher than mine and His ways are most certainly greater. Ah, the release of worship and surrender!
And... then I kept reading... "God, who raises the dead!...On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us". He can raise the dead. No! It says "he raises" the dead. He is now raising the dead! He is always, faithfully, consistently, steadily raising the dead. A spiritually dead heart, Lord? YES! A dying body, Lord? YES! A dying or dead marriage, Lord? YES! All of this is in His hand and within His capacity to do. And it just got better... as I kept reading... "No matter how many promises God has made they are "yes" in Christ. Now, it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ". My heart knew freedom as I realized anew that I don't have to carry these burdens. I can hand them to a God who is compassionate and who can raise the dead! I can hand them to a Father who says "yes" to all His promises through the life and sacrifice of Christ. I can cast these cares onto the One who cares. Ah!... the freedom of worship!
And finally I read... "We live by faith, not by sight" (1 Cor. 5). I so naturally live by sight. I see the people. I see the problems, the hurdles, the struggles, the circumstances and the pain. I see with my eyes. But, God wants me to look with my soul and my heart. He wants me to trust Him and to look on each one with eyes of faith. For my faith is in the Faithful One, my kind Father... the Father of compassion. Stop looking with your eyes, Stephanie and look with your spirit, your soul, with your heart. ...with a heart surrendered to me. ...with a heart that trusts me.
So, I choose to worship this morning. I choose to hand over the dear ones in my life. I choose to hand over the unsaved loved one, the sick one whom I love, the weak one who doesn't know how to fight the enemy of their soul, the one who has been a wounded and hurt, and the one who wonders where their next meal will come from... to my Father, who I trust, I give them! I hand them to You, Father. And I ask you to raise the dead today!