Earlier this week, I was rocking Gideon in preparation for his afternoon nap. It had been a stressful day and my mind had begun to wander off into future events. When this happens, it’s never a good thing.
If it’s about my daughter, the future events are always positive- sports, school, marriage… but with Gideon, there is this impending doom that takes over and all I can think about is the suffering that is to come- more doctors appointments, hospital stays, painful tests, challenges, hospice and the slow painful death that comes with his diagnosis.
As I laid him down and stood over his crib, I read the verse we placed above it before he was ever born..
“The Lord is with you Mighty Warrior.” Judges 6:12
Normally I read that verse as if it’s only for Gideon. But that day I read it as if God was speaking to me. And in that moment my heart was convicted that lately I’ve been more of a mighty worrier than a mighty warrior.
How does this happen???
I’m certain it’s by no coincidence that my devotionals this week have all been in 1 Peter, where the key theme is suffering. This morning as I sat down to read chapter 5, these familiar passages came with fresh reassurance.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
I couldn’t help but shake my head in frustration. I wait soooooooo long to bring my cares before the Lord. I’m sure I’m not the only one. But why do we do this? The commentary in my Bible shed some new light for me. Regarding these verses it says, “Worry is a form of pride because it involves taking concerns upon oneself instead of entrusting them to God.”
I would like to think I have conquered this area of my life, but apparently I struggle with pride. But after all these years, it makes sense now why that verse begins with humble yourself. Humility is the opposite of pride. And if there’s a commanded in the Bible to do something, then that’s a pretty good indicator that it doesn’t come natural to us.
It’s tough to swallow that I’m being prideful when I worry, but that’s just what it is. My pride says, I can do this, I can handle this, I am strong enough… But when we try and “handle” things on our own it eventually turns us into worriers, not warriors. And when we worry, we are choosing to forgo the grace, peace, and freedom that comes with knowing Jesus.
If I said I was not prepared to have a son with a terminal genetic disorder, I’d by lying. The truth is, when I look back on my life I can see all the ways that God has been preparing my heart for Gideon, as well as the suffering that is to come. Scripture is clear, it’s not a matter of if but when we will suffer. But no matter how long or intense our suffering is, in light of eternity, it’s short. And God has proven time and time again that He is faithful to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us (vs 10) when we experience suffering for His sake.
That’s why in all circumstances, we can give thanks. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
But we will never reach that place of thanksgiving… until we humble ourselves.