The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1
At the age of five, I learned a powerful prayer: God is great, God is good, and I thank Him for my food. Amen
As I matured through the lifespan, I decided the prayer was for children, and I exchanged the simple prayer for prayers that contain more elaborate words. One certainty that we can have is that the journey of life always brings change. I started a new job located in the next state, which required 3 hours of travel every day. The essential responsibilities consumed most of my waking hours, and with the exhaustion at the end of the day, I would mumble a quick prayer before retiring for the night.
Soon my focus changed, I began to search for a work-life balance; but could not find the time to study the Bible, pray, and have meaningful worship more than once a week when I attended church. Yes, on Sabbath, during the service, I would feel guilty for not praising and worshiping God during the week. But my weekly commitment to do better only resulted in making empty and unfulfilled promises from week-to-week.
Then my life changed, the new job had excellent perks, it was laid back, which left me with a high energy level and a lot of extra time. I focused on my achievements of a nursing career progressing well, and savings account that was flourishing due to newly acquired financial management skills. Eventually, traveling became a hobby, and to make things even better, I met a travel partner (it was a platonic relationship) who lived for the weekend. Life was wonderful! Not a week passed that we didn’t have activities that consumed every weekend from Friday-Sunday.
I was happy and told myself that this was a good life, and I deserved it for all of my hard work. With the responsibilities of work and the time spent on leisure activities, I placed my educational goal on hold. To make matters worse, I began to make excuses, “If I only had more time, then I could attend church every week, but I am too tired.” My focus was on self-gratification, and I didn’t even have time to say the simple prayer of “God is great, God is good…”
“…I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3
Although I had forsaken God, He is always faithful and remembered me. After enjoying two years of fun in the sun, during a phone call, my best friend reminded me of my commitment to further my education. I half-heartedly agreed to apply so that I could tell myself (and him) that I took the final step to become a Registered Nurse.
Although I had completed all of the academic courses required for nursing, the RN program in the State of New Jersey was in high demand, and I was placed on a 2-year waiting list by three colleges. Again God intervened, and the same friend that reminded me of my educational goal recommended that I apply to the program that he attended. Two weeks later, I received my acceptance letter, which required me to leave my former life behind and relocate to Upstate New York. God allowed me to achieve my goal to become a Registered Nurse, where I had many fruitful years to minister to those who were physically ill and mentally dejected.
When we possess the mindset of, “If only I had more ____________________” whether we fill in the blank with time or money, we exclude God from our lives. Through self-reliance, we begin to think of our desires and the methods in which we can achieve everything we want. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Deciding to place our lives in God’s hands prevents us from carrying the unnecessary burdens of our future, even during the pandemic and civil unrest. God’s promises are not dependent on present circumstances. He only requires that we acknowledge Him and accept His Plan of Salvation. God’s decision to create humanity despite our decision to forsake his loving-kindness has not influenced the extension of His grace and mercies. Jesus Christ, His only Son, agreed to die for our redemption to save us from a sin-filled life, and the destruction of the second and final death.
When we perceive God as our Heavenly Father, we become as little children filled with love and trust. Only then can we believe, speak, and live by the simplicity of the child’s prayer: God is great, God is good, and we thank you for our food. Amen.
Bible Reading: Matthew 6
God, we thank you for your love, your power, and for the provisions that you have blessed us with. We desire to include you in our lives and ask for your Divine intervention and blessings. Thank you for giving your Son to die for our sins, who rose from death to serve as our Heavenly Intercessor. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.