Friday, July 28, 2017

Soak in...

I have a little garden...  It's not much, because I'm not much of a gardener.  I like to watch things grow, but I'm not very good at making them grow.  I guess I'm what you could call a "lazy gardener".  I want to throw the seeds in the ground and watch as they spring to life, but there's more to producing fruit than that.  You have to prep the soil, water regularly, fertilize and prune.  You can't just ignore your garden and think it's going to produce. 

My first attempt this year ended in me pulling all my dead plants out and starting again.  Not enough water and no soil prep left me with a box full of tiny sprouts, that never matured, their growth was stunted. 

After ripping everything out and throwing the useless plants in the compost, I prepped my soil and soaked it thoroughly, buried the new seeds and waited.  The little seeds sprouted right on time and started growing beautifully.  I was so excited about my little plants and I couldn't wait to taste their fresh from the garden fruit.  Those little plants grew big pretty leaves, stretched out across the garden box and overflowed their borders, but didn't produce any fruit.

One day my brother was over and looking out across the yard, seeing all that green life overflowing the boxes he asked how my little garden was doing.  I told him it was growing, but not producing, so he went to take a closer look.  He told me I wasn't watering enough and giving more water would solve my problem. 

Because I'm a lazy gardener I had just been using our sprinkler system to water my garden.  My hose wouldn't reach across the yard where my boxes were, so I just turned on the nearest sprinklers, expecting that to be enough, but that wasn't working.  The sprinkler sprayed mist in to the air and wet the leaves, but did nothing to actually water the plants.  They were thirsty for a deep, root level soak. 

I attached another hose to the one that wouldn't reach and started giving my little plants the soak they needed, setting the hose right down by the roots, so they could soak up all the life giving water.  What do you know?  Those little babies started giving me fruit.  I  was so surprised to find full sized cucumbers hidden beneath those green leaves. 

Last night, sitting out back on my patio, looking at my garden, I pondered this truth.  A sprinkle doesn't do much for the soul.  A sprinkle may be enough to keep a soul alive, but it's a deep root level soak that makes a soul thrive. 

The last few years I have been in a dry wasteland of loneliness.  Surrounding by people, but alone none the less.  I've been angry with God and blaming him for my loneliness.  Feeling like I was invisible and unworthy of being seen, I lashed out at the only One, who could really see me.  I denied him my love and affection.  I refused the offer of His presence, because I wanted flesh and blood.  I wanted a person to see me and know me, to understand and desire me.  My deepest longing for companionship was an idol to me.  Wanting people became the alter I laid my life on.

If my truest longing is intimacy (to be known and to know), then people are like my water sprinkler...  they can offer me just enough to keep me alive.  My Creator is the water flowing from my hose, close to the roots of the plant, giving us the ability to thrive and produce life. 

The last few years the whisper of God to my soul has been... I see you, I know you, I love you, I want you.  In the book of Hosea, the Word paints a picture of an adulterous bride seeking love in all the wrong places and a husband who leads her into the wilderness alone, so that he can woo her.  He desires to show her His love is superior to all others.  He disentangles her from every other distraction, until He has her complete and undivided attention and then He lavishes her with his extravagant love. 

It's a beautiful story that I go back to repeatedly...  Hosea 2:20 is the whole Bible wrapped up in one verse...  "I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness and YOU WILL KNOW THE LORD." 

You will KNOW the Lord is repeated throughout scripture.  That word KNOW means intimacy. To know and be known.  We were created for this purpose, to KNOW the Creator.  He made us for Him.  Col 1:16 "...were created by Him AND FOR HIM." 

When God created Adam and Eve it was for a relationship.  We see the evidence of that in Genesis when it says he came to walk with them in the cool of the day.  When sin destroyed that possibility God set a plan in motion to restore that relationship, through His son Jesus Christ.  The Father of Heaven is ever about restoring intimacy with His children.  He will go to any length to do that. 

Soaking in this truth down deep in my soul is doing something in my heart.  Where there was longing and ache and need there is peace.  Where there is brokenness and loneliness, His truth is healing.  When I yearn to be known and loved and understood and desired, He speaks softly to my soul that My Creator sees me, knows me, loves me.  He gets me.  He knows who I am and He loves me. 

When God was promising a savior He called him "Immanuel", which means God with us.  Jesus came down to be with us.  He came to show us who God is.  He came to rid of us of this idea that we are puppets set to perform for this far away deity, who can't be known or understood. 

God wanted to be known, just like I do.  God wanted to be understood, just like I do.  God wanted to restore what was lost and broken... our relationship with our Creator. 

Last night, as I sat looking at my garden...  I felt a little lonely.  I wanted to reach out to a human, but I realized that really wasn't what my soul needed.  That little need was really a symptom of being disconnected from my life line.  So, I turned to him and poured my ache out on Him and He poured that life giving water down deep to my roots.  As I soaked in His love, my ache receded. 

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her heart." Hosea 2:14

I'm not going to lie to you.  I wish that I wouldn't have to experience this.  I would prefer to be surrounded by people and I might be perfectly content to never truly know God, but He will not allow me to continue to try to satisfy myself that way. 

Even though the road has been painful I'm learning to be thankful for the ache... It is the only thing that can draw me closer to the lover of my soul.  It is my greatest gift. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Legit Needs.

Two million people wandering around in the desert...  men, women, young and old, children and babies.  Leaving Egypt behind, taking only what they could carry on their backs.  The Lord had told them to be ready to leave fast.  They were to prepare the Passover meal and eat it standing up, shoes on their feet in expectation for their coming deliverance. 

I know what it takes to feed my family. Four growing boys never stop eating.  Just thinking about leaving everything you've known and setting out on a journey through the wilderness, with just what I could carry and my seven member family would be an act of faith that I would miserably fail.  It gives me hives just thinking about it. 

Even after crossing the Red Sea on dry land the Israelites struggle to understand this God they have newly entered into a relationship with.  He promises His presence with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  He has performed countless miracles on their behalf and yet...

It's been three days since they saw the water split in two and they walked on the DRY sea floor.  Three days since they saw the water topple back down, onto Pharaoh's army and drown their enemy.  Three days since they sang and danced and rejoiced and praised the power of the One True God. 

Three days that they have travelled with over 2 million people and not seen a drop of water.  That is a legit need.  People can't live without water.  They finally find a spot called "Marah", but the water was too bitter to drink.  So, they do what they do best...  cry, complain, whine.  They turn to Moses and say, "What are we going to drink?" 

I totally get it.  That's my first reaction to any little inconvenience in my life... so I know I would have been one of the complainers.  I would have been right at the front of the line blaming Moses and this invisible God for bringing me out here in the desert to die.  I would have been the one to forget all the times I had seen things that were impossible.  I would have been the one to say, "Look, God can't even provide drinking water." 

I say I believe that He created the Universe, but at the first hint of trouble in my life, my words and actions reveal what my heart truly believes...  That God can't or won't meet my needs.   I say I believe that He is powerful, able to do the impossible, that He knows me and sees my situation.  I say I believe that He is my Heavenly Father and He will take care of me, but my actions and my mouth reveal my lack of trust and faith. 

BUT Moses cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree.  When Moses threw the tree in the water, the water became drinkable.  OKAY WHAT???? 

Here is the difference between me and Moses...  I would be like "God, this is such a bad plan.  I mean this is so not going to work."  But Moses just does what God told him to do.  Moses believed that God was able.  He believed that God would and that God could and because he believed, he asked.  Moses knew this situation WAS NOT proof that God didn't care or that God wasn't paying attention or that God had forgotten their needs.  Moses saw this situation as a chance to see what God would do.  He knew his needs were the very place that God wanted to reveal himself, his character and his nature.  So, Moses took his needs to God and God answered with the impossible. 

Moses didn't question God's crazy plan.  He didn't try to come up with a plan that would make more sense.  He KNEW he didn't have the answers and he depended on God. 

Every step of the way Yahweh was trying to teach them about Himself.  Every new obstacle was an opportunity to learn more about Him.  Every trial was a test of what they really believed.  Every miracle, proof that He is able, powerful, good, and faithful. 

Yahweh was revealing His character through His actions... and He is doing the same thing in my life. 

Jesus said, "Your Father in Heaven knows that you have needs (food, drink, clothing).  But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matt 6:33

Your needs are legit, but they are not proof that God doesn't care...  they are the places where we are drawn closer to Him and able to see how awesome He truly is.  Our needs are the catalyst for our relationship with God.  Relationship FIRST.  Like any earthly parent wants to meet their children's needs, He longs to meet ours and draw us closer to Him in the process. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wasted Worry.

"But mommy I need you to stay with me, I'm scared."  Followed by a long list of "what ifs"...  What if someone comes in my room, what if ghosts are real, what if I have a bad dream, what if I can't find you.  All of these concerns coming from a three old with eyelids too heavy to stay open.  So, last night I stayed by his bed, until he was all the way asleep.   And guess what???  None of that happened.  He fell asleep and slept peacefully through the night, waking up to the sun shining through his window.   All that worry, over nothing. 

Easy for me to call his childish fears silly, but what about mine?  I just spent the last few weeks worrying about VBS and how it was going to fit in my life.  How would I have time to decorate and how could I accomplish what I wanted to do without help?  What would I do with my little guys so they wouldn't be in my way?  What about this, what about that.  And every step of the way God met me there with help he already provided.  

Yesterday was the first day of VBS and I worried that my room was still not done and that I had left a mess the day before to clean up, but I was running a little late and so I started to panic that I wouldn't have time to get it done...  when we finally got through traffic and made it to the church I rushed upstairs to my room and found it perfectly in order.  Two little angels had cleaned it all up for me.  Worry wasted.

I worried that my 3 year old would have a hard time going to his class and staying there for 3 hours, even though his sister was one of the helpers.  I imagined him crying his way through the week.  I imagined trying to teach my class with him hanging on my hip.  I imagined  him refusing to go and then having to worry about what to do with him all week.  He's having a great time even though he hasn't left my side in church ever without crying the whole time.  Wasted worry.

I worry about money, I worry about my kids and their future, I worry about screwing them up and sending them to counseling, I worry about food, I worry about the people I love dying, I worry about what people think about me, I just worry.   So much of the time my worry is completely wasted. 

When I'm reading Exodus and I see God leading his people out of Egypt, I see me.  They panic EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. they face an obstacle.  They have just witnessed God destroy the greatest nation on the face of the earth with 10 severe plagues, all while being supernaturally protected, and Egypt's mighty Pharaoh beg them to leave, as his people throw gold and jewelry and other valuables at them and Oh, how they praise the Lord.  Until they are standing at the Red Sea with Pharaoh's army breathing down their neck...  and then it's all "Moses, why did you bring us out here?   Are we just gonna die in the wilderness?  Why didn't we just stay as slaves in the Egypt where it WAS BETTER FOR US?"  

OK WHAT???  You just prayed for 400 years to be freed from slavery.  What???  God just demonstrated HIS awesome power on your behalf and the greatest king on Earth was humbled so completely that he just set a nation of slaves FREE.   Why are you freaking out?  

We know the story...  Moses prays the water splits, they walk through ON DRY LAND, the army follows and the waves crash down on them drowning Pharaoh's army.   NOW WHAT?  Surely, Israel, you will never doubt again?  Nope!  Time after time they freak out and Moses prays and God provides. 

Even though I read through Exodus shaking my head, I can't judge the Israelites.  I do the same thing.  I've seen God do stuff only He could do.  I've prayed and He's answered.  There has never been a time when I have prayed, taking my worry to the Lord, that He did not provide an answer.   There have been lots of times that I have worried about stuff that never happened.  There have been many times I worried and fretted and tried to figure out things on my own, making my situation worse.  BUT, there has never been a time that I prayed and God didn't answer. 

I look back on the last few weeks I wasted worrying and I wish I could take all that back.  I wish I would have rested in knowing that my God is good and He's got all this.  I wish I would have remembered all the times He has moved mountains for me, but I didn't.  VBS was just my little worry, I had some much bigger worries and He worked those out too, leaving me awestruck once again that the God who created all that I see, knows my name and sees my situation and He is working on my behalf. 

In Paul's letters to the church, he begins by saying, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father."  That word grace means "unmerited favor" but it can also have the idea of God's "stored up help" for his people in times of trouble.   The word peace also can refer to many forms of peace, and one of those being "tranquility of mind that frees the Christian from fear and anxiety."   Paul wanted to remind his audience that the All powerful  Creator was their Father and they had no reason to fear or be anxious. 

Psalms 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very (abundantly available) present help in trouble."

vs 10 "Be still and know that I am God." 

The same God who parted the Red Sea and humbled an Egyptian Pharaoh is the same God, who wants to help you.  I say wants to help you, because it's up to you!  Do you want help?  Ask... Jesus said you have to ask believing...  sometimes I ask, but I struggle to believe.  Confess that unbelief.  I prayed this last week for a BIG miracle and I didn't see any way that my prayer could be answered, but My Father in heaven already had the answer...  He was just waiting for me to pray! 

"Be anxious for NOTHING; but in everything BY PRAYER and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the PEACE OF GOD, which passes understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:6-7

The whole Bible is one long story of humans having a problem (sin) and without hope and God sending the answer through Jesus Christ, his son, to fix our problem...  IF God would go to such lengths to help his people overcome their eternal problem, why would He withhold his help in our little problems? 

What are you wasting worry on this week?  Take it the your Helper, He's already working it out!

Monday, June 26, 2017


It started like any other affair...  I was mad, hurt and disappointed so I turned to something else to make me happy.   I wanted some excitement in my life.  Something forbidden.  Something new and different.  

I remember the exact second I turned away from my first love.  I was laying in bed marinating in disappointment.  Meditating on how he had let me down... AGAIN.  He never seems to give me what I want.  Oh yeah, he loves me.  I've never doubted that.  He gives me good things...  My life is overflowing with evidence of HIS faithfulness.  Oh, He's good, faithful, true.  He's dependable, reliable.  He would never do to me, what I always do to him.  He loves me...  this I know. 

Even so, I lay in that bed soaking in my misery, a prime candidate for temptation, my rebellious thoughts turning decidedly wicked.  That little devil on my shoulder whispering in my ear, "no one has to know".   It could be my little secret.  It took less than a second to reach for my kindle and search for something to read that would give me the excitement I was craving.  What started as a moment of weakness turned  to addiction.  I knew it would...  I've been there before.  This time was different.   I have a relationship with God and I know him well enough to know that He would not share.  He calls himself "Jealous God" for a reason. 

It's been over a month since I have opened my Bible.  If you know me, you know that no matter how my life is going- I read my Bible daily.   I read my Bible daily, because I know me and I am scared to death of me without a relationship with Jesus.  I read my Bible and pray for sheer survival.   I know who I am apart from God, and that terrifies me. 

Every morning when I would normally grab my coffee and head out to the patio and read God's Word, I would instead pick up an entirely different kind of book.  I would ignore the nudge of the lover of my soul.  I would reject his promise of real love and instead gorge myself on the world's definition of love.  A romanticized version of love. 

It didn't take long for me to start seeing the affects of the affair.  Adultery takes.  It never gives.  Hiding, sneaking.  Addicted, consuming, but never filled.  Soon my confidence faltered and my insecurity began to suck me under.  I started comparing my life to the fairytales I was reading and becoming more unhappy, until my nose hardly left a book.  Whole days consumed with imaginary friends who's lives were more interesting than mine. 

The still small voice of my true love calling me home, over and over.  As I would go through the motions of bedtime prayers with my children, I hoped they couldn't see it was all empty words, because I knew I couldn't actually speak to God.  He knew.  He knew how I had been spending my time.  He knew the mental images conjured up by the words on those pages.  He knew the hunger of my soul.  He would confront me every night and ask when I would pray for real?  When would I walk away from my lover and return to him?  When would I admit I was empty, broken and longing for my true love?  But I resisted and ran right back to my lover. 

Artificial love can never truly compete with real love...  Love is patient, love is kind.  Love gives, love heals.  Love knows what I really NEED and offers it until I give in.  Love satisfies, fills, renews, restores.  As much as I tried to ignore His constant pursuit and His pleading to return...  My broken heart was no match for his dogged pursuit.  He pulled me back to him.  He spoke endlessly to my needy soul, of his healing love.  

I came home broken, he healed.   Empty, He filled.  His faithfulness bolstering my confidence.  The darkness washed away by the overpowering radiance of his love. 

"Therefore, I am going to persuade her, lead her to the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her....  In that day this is the Lord's declaration, you will call me, 'My husband,' and no longer 'My Master'"...   Hosea  2:14 & 16

The Lord spoke these words over his unfaithful bride Israel, after she has continually betrayed him, by playing the whore with other gods.  In the midst of her infidelity God promises to be a faithful husband to her.  To love her, to pursue her, to speak comfortably to her.  Real love heals. 

My devotion is fickle.  My love for God is selfish.  I want him to be a god that I can manipulate, but then he would be weak.  I want him to let me do what I want, but He refuses to allow me to ruin my life.  I want excitement, He offers security.  I want adventure, He offers stability.  I want independence, but even I know that's the last thing I need. 

I am Israel...  Unfaithful...  I am Israel...  I am LOVED. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

When Wills Collide.

I thought about opening with a cute story about my kids being rebellious...  Lord knows I have a million, but I decided instead to share my struggle with God's will.   It started about 8 years ago. 

I grew up a typical American girl, with big dreams.  I knew what I wanted out of life.  I spent hours daydreaming about what my life would be like, when I was an adult and could make my own decisions.  I lived for the time that I could make my own way and do what I wanted, believing that doing what you wanted, was the key to happiness. 

I remember when I was in the 6th grade and my best and only real friend, made a book out of construction paper with pictures cut from magazines... her idea of what my life might look like.  Cute, successful, professional husband, adorable children (2 of course), nice fancy car and obviously a gorgeous house, lavishly decorated.  The American Dream clipped out of fashion mags.  That was all I wanted out of life.  Those pics represented true happiness. 

After becoming a Christian at 19, I just transferred my American Dream to my Christian life.  Wouldn't God want me to have all that?  Wouldn't he want me to be HAPPY?  So, I went about making that Christian-American Dream happen.  In the beginning, it all worked flawlessly.  God answered my prayers and brought a wonderful man into my life, who happened to be handsome, professional and successful.  Check.  God and I were on the same page.  Next up...  We bought a house and new cars and started filling them up with children...check.  The Lord out did himself there... we had to get a bigger house and bigger cars to fit all those little blessings. 

The glorious future stretched out in front of us and I was blissfully happy.  Life only became more satisfying when my husband was asked to be the leader of the Youth Group at our church.  We were overwhelmed that God would honor us with the position since we had no experience.  That position did something for this mess of a girl.  I wanted more than anything in this world to be "somebody" and this was the chance.  I could be married to one of the leaders of our church.  I could be important.  I could be seen.  This was proof that I had left that messy, teenage girl behind.  I wasn't her anymore.

I didn't recognize any of this until many years later, but the day we were no longer in that position I began a decade long war against the will of God.  If this was the will of God, he could mind his own business.   This was the beginning of a season of taking.  He began to take things from me, that I thought I couldn't live without.  He took my importance (in my mind), he took the position, he took my validation.  Not long after, he took my mom, who died of cancer at 52.  He took lifelong friendships, he took family members and moved them far away.  The more he took the less I trusted.  To be honest, there were times that if he would have let me go, I would have left and not looked back.  Like a rebellious teenager, who runs away from home, I wanted out from under his oppressive will.  I wanted freedom to make my own way.  Instead, I pretended.  I didn't run away, I stayed.  I pouted.  I cried.  I raged against God for being unfair.  I silently rebelled and rejected his authority. 

Like my preteen daughter, who obeys just enough, with her barely concealed anger and thoughts about how little her parents really know.  I thought that I knew better and longed for God to submit to my will, but He's God...  He doesn't bend. 

I didn't get God.  In my mind, God was a genie in a bottle, who granted all my wishes.  I had forsaken the true God at some point and constructed a god in my own image.  A god who would bow to my will, a god, who would give me what I wanted.  There was no place in my Christian-American dream for a God, who had his own ideas. 

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I began to see the truth of the situation.  I was at a women's conference at our church and I had been struggling against God for so long and I couldn't figure out why I had no joy, no peace.  Why?  I had so much to be happy about.  IF happiness came through having what you want...  I should be happy.  I have the husband, I have the kids, I have the house, I have the car.  WHY, can't I be happy. 

How convenient the topic of the day was about joy! Woot woot...  another lesson on something I knew deep down I would NEVER experience.  I have been a Christian for 20 years and I've been deliriously happy and in the valleys of depression and every other emotion in between, but never have I experienced JOY. 

As the speaker preached her heart out that day, I realized that my thinking had been jacked up for a very looooooooooong time.  As she expounded on words I had read a million times the truth became clear for the first time. 

I had always wondered how Paul, who basically endured hell on earth for Jesus, could say things like "Rejoice, in the Lord. Again I say Rejoice."  He must be a special kind of crazy, because I just haven't been able to get there.  If you look at Paul's life before and after Christ you can plainly see how deciding to follow Jesus had been a demotion.  His life was filled with trouble... and all because He couldn't shut up about how great Jesus was.   Stoning, beating, jail, prison... nothing would keep this guy from telling anyone he came in contact with about the Savior and what did he get in return...  more abuse. 

What did Paul get that I don't???  Well, first of all, he got Jesus.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who existing in the very form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity.  And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death- even death on the cross." Phil. 2:5-8

Jesus, who was God, left glory behind to be a man... not just any man, but servant (WHICH IS REALLY MEANS SLAVE).   Being obedient to the Father, submitting to God's will, UNTO DEATH.

We don't really understand this concept, but let me tell you a little of what I have learned in the last few weeks...  Slaves HAD NO RIGHTS.  The were purchased by the owner of an estate, who was the Father.  The slave assumed the name of the Father/Owner and became his property.  Slaves did not speak to the master unless they were spoken to and their standard response would have been, "Yes, Lord, your will be done."

Sounds familiar.  Isn't that exactly what Jesus said in the garden?  Didn't he plead for this cup to be removed.  Didn't he beg the Father for another way, but then submit to the will of the Father and say "Not my will, but thine be done."

Paul, said this is the example that we should follow.  Paul, in every letter, written in the Bible, calls himself the servant (slave) of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  The reason that Paul could have joy is because he understood that He was a slave.  He was a servant.  Wherever and whatever situation he found himself was the will of God for his life.  He submitted to the sovereignty of God.  Sovereign is just a fancy word to say that God is in control.  Paul said the craziest things like, I am content in whatever state I'm in or I can do all things through Christ.  He KNEW that God was in control and he need not worry himself with details.  He knew that God was going to supply all of his needs.  He knew that he was a slave and the only right response was "Yes, Lord, your will be done."

Paul also knew that He had been working his whole life to achieve righteousness (a right standing with God) and that He couldn't.  He was OVERWHELMED to learn that Jesus had done for him, what he could never do for himself. 

Paul had spent his life trying to keep those 633 laws and failing everyday.   I know for myself I can't even keep the first one.  He had to continue to make sacrifices for sin that he could never conquer.  He KNEW the value of the price that had been paid for him.  He knew with every fiber of his being how good being truly forgiven by God's GRACE had set him free. 

Paul could not keep his mouth shut about what Jesus had accomplished on the cross and he knew that every place that God took him was an opportunity to share that Good News with whoever would listen.  NOTHING could get him down.  He recognized that God was worthy to have his will in Paul's life. 

Not only did Paul get Jesus and understand his right standing as a slave to Christ, Paul rejoiced in his position.  He was adopted into the family of God.  He was heir with Jesus of all the promises of the Father.

In Jesus day, the Father of the family or the Patriarch, was the leader of his clan.  Everyone in the family was under the authority of the Patriarch, even grown sons.  This was not an arbitrary position...  The Father had all the responsibility for the family.  He made all the decisions, but he was also expected to provide and protect his family.  The Father was expected to do what was best for the family.  As we all know that did not always happen, but when Jesus spoke of his Father in heaven, this is what he had in mind, a perfect Father, who put his families best interest first. 

When Jesus talked to the people about God, he always referred to God as, the Father.  Paul understood that Jesus was telling us that we could trust our Heavenly Father to do what is best for us.  Paul need not worry about anything... that was his Father's job. 

We live in very different times, but God has not changed.  He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.  His ways are not our ways.  His thoughts are not our thoughts.  This side of heaven we may never understand the WHYS of God, but we can trust the will of God, because we know that as our Father, he has our best interest at heart.  As Master of our lives our only response can be "Not my will, but thine." 

When wills collide, whose will do you choose?