What? Me worry?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? -Matthew 6:27
Abiding can only happen within the context of a trusting relationship. If you don't trust me, you don't even feel comfortable to be around me, much less explore this "abiding" thing. So we've been discussing why God is worthy of our trust. To briefly review:
God is great - He can handle whatever situation arises; I don't have to be in control.
God is good - He supplies all my needs; I don't have to look elsewhere.
God is gracious - He has made me His beloved son; I don't have to prove myself worthy.
And yet, when circumstances aren't matching up with my idea of "good" (which, let's face it, generally means easier, more productive, or more profitable for me and those I care about), my trust begins to wane. I doubt God. "Maybe this one is too big for Him to do anything about. After all, there are other people involved and He gives them free will to behave (or misbehave) as they will." Or "Maybe He doesn't realize what the good outcome would be here. Wait, what if this is all just a big cosmic game for Him and He's up there laughing at me. What if He's not so good after all?" Or "Maybe, just maybe, I've done something to tick Him off and lost His favor. Has He turned His back? Is this His way of punishing me? What was it? How do I get back?"
Don't tell me none of these thoughts has ever crossed your mind. The enemy whispers this trash in our ears all the time. If we allow them to gain a foothold, the momentary doubt becomes chronic worry. Doug said it well - "Worry and trust can't live in the same house at the same time." It's back to that question about what I'm building. Is it a castle or a kingdom?
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:20-21
The invitation of Jesus is to stop the worry. Focus on the Kingdom and let the King provide for my needs. For me, the problem is not necessarily placing things in God's hands, but leaving them there. "Hey God, if you're not going to do anything with that, just give it back!" Or "No, no, no - that's not what I wanted you to do with that!" So it becomes Surrender, Re-surrender, and Re-re-surrender. What if, instead of looking at it as "All I can do is just trust God" I could start by saying, "The greatest thing I can do about this is to trust God."
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:33