Friday, July 4, 2008


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phillipians 4:6

I was going through a pretty anxious time last year. Friends advised me to "give it to God". But few people who offer that trite advice can actually tell you how. So I took them literally. I spent time in prayer envisioning literally handing things I cared about the most, and therefore worried about the most, over to God.

One of the subjects of stress was my dog, Suki. Since I adopted her years ago, she has dealt with major medical issues, the worst of which is intervertebral disk disease. If she overworks her back, her spinal chord gets inflammed and causes temporary (and if untreated, permanent) paralysis. After several bouts of medical treatment, and finally a very expensive spinal surgery, I am near the end of my financial abilities with her medical bills.
The vets have suggested no jumping or using stairs and have shown me a very specific way to carry her when I pick her up. Holding her in this position allows her back to remain straight and keeps her stabilized up against my side - kind of like a runningback gripping a football in one arm as he heads for the endzone.

One morning during this particularly anxious time, Suki started walking a little oddly. I immediately feared the worst and began to worry her back was going out again. In my prayer time, I tried to imagine giving her to Jesus, asking him to care for her and help shoulder my stress as well. As I was handing Suki over in my mind, I quickly yanked her back, thinking, "But...but you don't know how to hold her right!"

Then this flashed through my mind. And I realized: actually, he does! :)


Julie Miles said...

You are such an eloquent and thought-provoking writer. Thanks for starting your blog. Today's entry especialy hit home for me, given Ethan's condition. You're right that it's often hard to give up our most precious things (people, animals, etc) to trust God to take care of them, but we must remember that He is the Creator so if anyone knows how to care for our loved ones - it's HIM!

Joel said...

There are some people for whom praying almost always gives them guidance and helps them realize what God's will is for them. I am not one of them. It is very difficult for me to know when God is speaking to me, even when I pray and read the Bible frequently.

The human mind is such an amazingly complex thing. Often I'll wonder whether it is God I'm hearing from when I pray or in the middle of the day, or whether it is just my own mind. Is my mind just projecting what I want to be true? Am I just in a bad mood and feeling pessimistic? Or is God actually speaking to me? Or what about Satan, is he trying to bring me down? I wonder about this all the time. Very often, I can't tell.

And I know that it isn't always God speaking to me when I feel like he is. There have been times when I've felt like something would happen that didn't happen, or felt like I was told to do something that ended up being a complete waste of time. Often when I pray, I come out no more certain about what is bothering me and what I should do than I was before I prayed (such as with something I've been particularly worried about recently). Or sometimes even less certain.

Once in awhile, I absolutely know that God is speaking to me (very seldom - I can only recall one time I was completely certain in the past year). But most of the time, I'm very unsure.