Lord, I am convinced that you are able to take
care of all these problems by yourself, and I will
ask you to do that. If there is anything you want
me to do, just prompt me and I will do it.
Years ago, when Lorne was the International President of the Navigators, he would sometimes arrive at his desk in the morning and find a stack of problems involving the Navigator ministry across the world which had been placed on his desk. In his recounting of those times, he would name the countries one by one, and briefly describe the situations. Many were serious, some involving the health and safety of the Navigator representatives, while others related to the ministry difficulties of various ministry sites. He related that some were so complex that it was difficult to know where to begin. It was then that he would pick up the stack, pray a simple prayer as noted above, place it back on the desk, and then go about his daily tasks.
About 15 years ago, I was afforded an opportunity to bring seven other men with me to spend four days with Lorne at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It consisted of some group sessions, teaching, prayer, as well as each man having individual time with Lorne. In one of the sessions, we were asked to write down on a sheet of paper everything that was troubling us at the time. Lorne asked that we examine every care, all the knowns and the unknowns, the fears of today and the uncertainties of tomorrow. We had an hour to do this, and the list grew longer the more we thought about our lives. When we had finished, he said to write down several verses at the top of the sheet, one of which was characterized by I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him, for he cares for you.” We then were asked to go through these cares one by one, turn the care over to the Lord and then cross it off our list. I remember that to this day. Lorne was leading us to do what he had learned to do daily in his life.
We need to be convinced that the Lord Is able to do for us what needs to be done. We need to ask based on our knowledge that He is also willing to do what is needed. Doubt in both of these areas is common to all of us, but I am encouraged by the New Testament examples of those who had these doubts. In Mark 9, we read the story of a man who was not convinced that Jesus could help. He said, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22) The second man had doubts about whether Jesus would help. His statement was as follows, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” (Mark 1:40) What I find so encouraging about these men is that they brought their problems to Jesus, even though they had doubts. Though our faith in His power or willingness may not be complete, it should not prevent us from coming to Him.
Lorne’s simple prayer ends with the remark, “just prompt me and I will do it.” This implies listening and responding, hearing and doing, waiting and then working. It is the attitude of Isaiah when in the 6th chapter, he declared, “Here am I, send me.”
Though few of us have international responsibilities, we all have problems and concerns that are placed on the desk of our lives. These include family, vocational, financial and personal concerns. Some pass with time, while others seem to grow and never go away. We never reach a point in life where there are no cares for ourselves or others. These cares and anxieties are there for a reason; that we learn to take everything to Him. It is in doing this faithfully that we grow in dependence upon him. Our independence drives us away from Him. Our dependence drives us to Him. It is in that act of trust and abandonment to Him that we grow in our knowledge of Him. We come to know Him as Jehovah-Nissi, the LORD our banner, the One to whom we can look continually in prayer and be triumphant over everything that assails us. It is in our dependence upon Him to act that we learn that He is Jehovah-Jireh, The LORD will provide, the One who will provide for ourselves and others. Our life with Him now, and in all eternity will consist of growing in our knowledge of Him. We are all given opportunities daily to grow in this knowledge of our LORD.
Based on Lorne’s example from his life, then; each care, anxiety, and concern should be brought in dependence to the Lord. It is this attitude of dependence that pleases Him. The Lord delights to meet our needs; however, the supreme matter to our lives is not that these issues be resolved. That is of lesser importance. The supreme matter is that in so doing, we may see the hand of the Lord; that we may come to know Him more deeply, love Him more completely, and worship Him more perfectly.