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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
We were running very late–over two hours late, to be exact.
I’m the kind of person who ultra-prepares and ultra-plans in order to ensure everything operates at optimum efficiency. Today, all the wheels fell off my plan.
Part of that could be attributed to unexpected events, another significant portion was allotted to my four-year old (I’ve concluded that trying to get a child ready to go somewhere is like trying to force water to flow uphill…), and I do confess that part of it was my own miscalculations on how long it was going to take us to get ready for our holiday to Freycinet National Park.
I had planned to backpack out to Wineglass Bay that evening in order to photograph sunset from Wineglass Bay Beach. Spare time is worth its weight in gold to the mother of a young child, so the pressure was on not to lose that sunset photo op.
And in my mind, there were only two ways I could make up that lost time:
The first was to give my husband frequent tips on how to drive faster and pass more cars. Unfortunately, he thought my practical advice on how to drive more efficiently was backseat driving. He didn’t get us there any faster, but he did get there a lot more stressed.
The second way to make up the lost time was completely upon my own shoulders…literally. I had no option but to somehow hike faster with a pack that weighed half of what I do.
I left the Wineglass Bay trailhead car park very stressed and with no time to spare. Landscape photographers are always racing the light, but this was the bloomin’ Olympics. So I made an Olympic effort and made it to Wineglass Bay campground in a record-smashing time. As I dashed out to the rocks at the end of Wineglass Bay, I desperately searched for a great composition in literally the final 45 seconds of direct sunlight. Amazingly, I found one instantly, thanks be to God!
When it comes to photography trips, I frequently pray along with others that God will put me in the right place at the right time right away to capture the most beautiful shots of his glorious Creation. God definitely answered our prayers at that very moment!
Without even working for it, I found myself in the right place at the right time to catch the best of the sunset colors. God graciously blessed me with this photograph of Wineglass Bay with Mt. Freycinet in the background.
Once I snapped it, my stress dissipated, and all of a sudden it dawned on me:
“Why on earth did I worry so much? God was in total sovereign control over all the events of my day, and he had decided to provide me with this lovely shot, so why did I worry about it all day long?”
Then I remembered what Jesus spoke:
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?…But seek first his [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25, 33-34)
God graciously blessed me with this beautiful shot despite being anxious about capturing it all day long. But I also knew I had failed to seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness. God in his overwhelming kindness blessed me anyway. I also felt bad that my unspiritual stress had negatively affected my husband and dragged him away from the peace he had.
I repented and prayed that God would help me once again surrender to his Lordship over my life and to rest in him once again. I prayed God would help me do his work in his way, by the power of his Holy Spirit and not through my own striving.
In this place of total surrender to God we find perfect peace and divine providence to accomplish his will.
“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You–in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” (Isaiah 26:3 AMP)
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” (Job 22:21)