June 25, 2012

Confessing

Hydrangeas by Hart Senate Office Building
Every Sunday at Grace DC, we come to a point in the service called "Confession."  The congregation reads a prayer that has been written by one of the pastors in unison.  This time of confession is a moment to be honest with God and with ourselves.  It is powerful to hear hundreds of others praying the same words--it reinforces that we all deal with similar underlying sins and that God offers more than enough forgiveness to cover all of our shortcomings.

This week's prayer resonated with me:

"Father, we come to you in great need of your forgiveness and grace.  Our corrupt hearts are so easily exposed during times of suffering and trial.  We are quick to despair and we doubt your character when our life's circumstances are difficult.  We are often slow to hear, quick to speak, and quick to anger when our plans for a trial free life are over turned.  And when we get angry at our frustrated plans, we do not live according to the beauty of your grace to us.  Rather, we take out our frustration on the people around us with our words, withdrawal and resentment."

As I reflected over those sentences, I began flipping through a mental list of my actions from the past week.  (This weekly prayer time usually has a way of reminding me of my sins that I have conveniently forgotten.)  I kept thinking about how quickly I always assume the worst case scenario when a situation does not go according to my plans.  This negative reaction can have a depressing effect on those around me.  Most of the time, my "fear" of something going wrong never materializes in the worst case scenario that I have imagined.  The root of this panic is lack of trust that God is working out the situation for my best.

How would my life look different if I truly lived my belief that God knows and wants what is best for me?  I would accept changes and tweaks (and yes, *gulp* even massive edits) to my "perfect plan."  Instead of becoming anxious, I would channel that energy into more prayer for the situation.  I would step back, take a breath, and pray more instead of worrying.

As I enter a new week, undoubtedly filled with twists, turns and tweaks, I am thankful for the reminder that God is in charge of my journey.  Just one request: if you see me worrying over a set of circumstances, will you gently remind me to take it to the Lord in prayer?

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