I will confess I've been a worrier lately. We are making life changes - stepping out in faith to start a ministry to serve foster kids who are aging out of the foster care system. We're taking a very personal approach. We want to have a property that we share with them, so that means we need to move, uprooting our kids and leaving our community, for what is right now, not much more than a hope and a dream.
What if no one supports us or helps us and we find ourselves inadequate to the task?
What if it fails and we give up so much for nothing?
Part of the job of a parent is to be a provider, to make sure our children have food, clothing, a home, health care, and more (I Timothy 5:8). Though our earthly fathers may fail us, we can count on our heavenly Father to provide. Though I may fail, my children are not without hope. "Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same" (James 1:17). He is the Creator, Owner, and Giver of all good things. "The earth and everything on it belong to the Lord. The world and all its people belong to him" (Psalm 24:1).
This doesn’t mean we will not have times of feeling needy and restless. We live in a broken world where evil is still at work. Our job is not to worry, but to seek after him and pray. Our Father is near and His ears are always open to the prayers of His children. “Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings” (Philippians 4:6-7). Through Christ, our deepest needs are met, our needs for peace, rest, significance, love and more. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)
Jesus told us “Don’t worry about the things you need to live—what you will eat or what you will wear. Life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what you put on it. Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in houses or barns, but God feeds them. And you are worth much more than birds… Your Father knows that you need these things. Seek God’s kingdom. He will give you all these other things you need” (Luke 12: 22-24, 30-31). God knows our needs and our struggles. He is able and willing to give to us not just what we need, but more than we can imagine. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will overflow in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). He will provide us with everything we need to carry out very good work He has planned for us to do.
So my job is not to worry, but to seek God first and pray. Even so I don't have any guarantee of success on my terms. If my vision of serving God fails, Romans 8:28 tells me God will still work things out for His glory and His purposes. We may have our plans, but God directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9). So I can find comfort in that whatever happens - if we fail and help no one, if our kids lives are upended and we look like fools - we are not forgotten, we are not alone, and our value is not lost. God is in control.