As I was pondering about today’s responsibilities I came across this photo. Notice that everyone seems to be in a rush or even in a panic to reach the next checkpoint. What started off as a joyous adventure to the airport ends up becoming a hassle to reach the next stage. Now, we know in airports there are several stages. You first weigh your bags and receive your boarding pass. After you have ridden yourself of luggage, you are still left with carry-ons. Which leads us to the airport security scanning of carry-ons which then would take us to where we await the flight.
It seems as though we are just passing by until we get to where we want.
Airport Security is one of the biggest hassles in today’s flights, but it helps keep everything safe and smooth. While we are in the most annoying stage in traveling by air, we are also preventing any disasters from harming us. Through this stage, we receive the reassurance that everything will be alright when we board the flight. All the safety precautions that at one time burdened us, now brings us peace. When once we were just passing by, we now realize that we are passing through to the end.
How come it often seems that the most stressing of times brings us the most peace in the end? Where once we had been scrambling to find what was left in our pockets (such as coins, watches, metal) we now look back and realize that it was a part of the plan. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has designed us for a plan and that plan is not to harm us, but rather to prosper us. God may put us through a season of trial or hardship to bring us through to where He wants us.
And that’s where I refer to Phillippians 4:6-7, which reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Apostle Paul, whom wrote this letter to the church in Phillippi, was urging the Philippians to present their requests to God when they’re going through situations. God then will guard their hearts and minds through each and every trial that they experience. He wrote to a people who knew what it meant to not just pass by, but he wanted to encourage them to continue in that.
Now before I dig too deep into this passage, allow for me to break down the letter of Philippians. Philippians was written around 60 AD while Paul was in prison.
Paul was writing to the church in Phillippi to not be anxious about anything but to continue in prayer and thanksgiving. Again, Paul was in prison during this time for the cause of Jesus Christ. Much of what Paul writes to other churches has a lot to do with what Paul was going through. Paul was making it clear that God brings peace often through trial and tribulation.
Often, I find myself sitting in a stage of Bible College wondering when will it be my turn to be a pastor. Many times, it is for selfish and prideful reasons that I am being anxious about it. Through this time, I need to remember not to be anxious about it. It’s in the trials that God builds perseverance and strength.
I believe during the time Paul is in prison, he is reminding himself that the peace of God is worth waiting for. It transcends everything else because it brings reassurance. Paul reminds us that when we just pass by, we are not fully embracing all that God wants us to.
Just like after you step out of the airport security, the trials that you face bring reassurance that everything will work out.
Romans 8:28 reminds us that “ in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Are you just passing by?
Are there situations in your life where you have not fully given to God because you cannot see the other end of it?
Are there unpaid bills, college debt, relational matters that are keeping you from entering into God’s presence?
This is the part that always gets me. Whenever I allow other matters such as not finding a wife, or not being able to afford college next semester to enter my view, I begin to pull myself away from God’s presence. I slowly fade away from Him because how can a loving God allow me to endure any hardship? Whenever I rely on myself to do the impossible, I end up nowhere and with no one. We are told to enter God’s courtroom (sanctuary) with worship and thanksgiving, but how can that be when I don’t know where he’s leading?
We often forget that where God guides, He provides.
When I allow God to be the good shepherd of that which I cannot do, I believe God works in the supernatural. God does things that I simply cannot. Often times, I simply pass by, but God wants me to pass through with confidence that He will be Jehovah Jireh, my provider.
God never meant for this life to just be lived. He meant for it to be enjoyed. Every situation we go through is a test.
When I was in middle school, I enjoyed screaming out in the middle of a test. Don’t ask why, just realize that I enjoyed attention especially when we had a substitute teacher. The substitute would often not know of my friends and I but that would shortly change. I would often ask him/her (the teacher; usually a her) a question or two that simply did not have to do with the test. I simply wanted the attention of the class. Sooner than later, she caught on and understood that the only way around the situation was to not reply. The instructor remained silent through the time of testing.
Often this is how I view my time of testing and trials. I often ask the wrong questions. God may put us through situations to see how much we can handle. In handling these situations, we gain strength and more understanding.
When I left that class that day, I realized that it was not all about me. I understood that by asking the wrong questions, I not only delayed my test results, but I also delayed others results as well.
I was simply passing by.
This life was designed to be a journey not so much to a destination, but toward a transformation. When I allow for myself to experience God’s fullness of peace in trials then I often gain so much more than when I just pass by.
Maybe today you read this and are going through similar situations. You do not understand how God will work things out in your life and you are simply scared of the end result.
Join me in this journey of transformation and know that the instructor is normally silent during testing
– Jeremy Winafeld, the Intern
Points to Ponder: (1) Whenever God guides, he provides, and (2) The instructor can be quiet during times of testing.