6th Sunday of Easter
“Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
If there was a word that would describe how this year has been so far, it would be ‘limbo’. I have never felt so uncertain or unprepared for the future as I have been now, and it feels like I am standing on a precipice with the raging sea below. The ironic thing is that I’m usually a planner. I like to know how my day or week, even my year is going to look like. I know that curveballs are an inevitability, but I did not expect a year like this where I literally had to rip up my plans and question my ideas for the future.
I have been clinging on to my faith, yet I keep wondering what it is that God has got planned and what is it that He wants me to see or learn from all of this. I should know that it is useless to try and fathom what God’s plan is, as His plans are not for our mortal understanding. I keep telling myself that whatever it is that He has planned, it will be to prosper me and not harm me (Jeremiah 29:11). But the nagging doubts have been roiling in my mind, leaving me unsettled…until today. Today, I read that verse above from John 14:27: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid”. And that is how I have been feeling – troubled and afraid. And definitely not at peace.
God’s plan is not written here for me in today’s reading, but He knows the troubles that keep me awake at night. And there is only one thing that He wants to tell me: “I will provide.” God will provide the plans, the means, the resources, He will provide all that my family and I need, He will provide the strength and skills we need, right down to the peace in my heart. At an age where my primary worry is about providing for my family and how we can make ends meet whilst trying to plan and save for our future retirement, here He is saying, “Don’t worry, I will provide.” Not as the world provides or defines providing, but as God provides. When we trust the world to provide, the world expects something from us, payment in kind. But God’s provision is not conditional. God gives generously, without asking for favours, without expectation. He provides in His timing and in a situation where all glory will be given to Him. We are right where He intends us to be to make that happen. It is in our weakest position when the glory and generosity of God will be made known, when we set aside fear and worry and put on obedience instead, when we remember to humble ourselves and acknowledge that we need help.
“Be anxious for nothing,” begins Philippians 4:6, before it continues, “but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the PEACE of GOD which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds with Christ Jesus.” Brothers and sisters, if you have any troubles weighing you down today, lift them all up to God, trusting in His bountiful provision, and let your heart be filled not with anxiety or fear, but with His peace. God will provide — do not be troubled.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Lord, sometimes our troubles crowd out the space in our hearts and minds until there is no room for you, no capacity to understand that you will provide what we need. In such moments Lord, hold on to our hands, we pray, that we may take a moment to calm down and let your peace fill our hearts and dissolve our fears.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for providing for us, for giving us what we need even when we don’t know that we need it, or don’t understand what we need. We trust in you oh Lord, for our daily bread.