A counselee of mine has been facing extremely tumultuous health issues for the past year and a half. These health concerns along with other pressures of life have brought him to a point of extreme worry and anxiety. As we started our time together, the Lord began to gracious show him something with detailed practicality—these health struggles had not slipped through God’s hands into his life. God was working in them to mold him into the image of Christ. In fact, that the health struggles provide a stage on which to display this conformity to the image of Christ.
Practically, it was important to see the truth that Nebuchadnezzar notes: “He [God] does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, ‘What have you done?’” (Dan. 4:35). The functional ruler of earthly kingdoms makes this observation, and it is one packed with implications of God’s rule in our lives.
For this counselee, knowing God’s plan for his life included these health struggles changed the anxiety and worry he had over these issues. A big view of God often does this. Isn’t it interesting that in Luke 12 and Matthew 6 that Jesus uses the phrase “Oh, you of little faith!” (Matt. 6:30; Luke 12:28)? Why would He say that? Because anxiety shows us that there is a trust issue in God. When I have great anxiety, I am a functional atheist.
Therefore, Jesus says instead of worrying, “Seek first the kingdom” (Matt. 6:33; Luke 12:31). Orient yourself towards God’s purposes in your life—His provisions, His blessings, His doings, and His purposes. We have a big God who is in control, and that understanding abates our anxieties and worries. “Fear not, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give … ” (Luke 12:32). We are to trust this big God in practical ways, even in health struggles.
This brother needed to see that worry over his health was an affront to our good, all-knowing, and caring God. Moreover, that God had planned these health trials to conform him to the image of Christ. And he could practically trust God at the hospital, in the doctor’s office, and after another health struggle. God is a big God, with good purposes for His kids (Ps. 84:11).