I saw a picture on a social media site of three T-shirts, each with a different caption.
The first one had, “I’m the oldest. I make the rules.”
The second had, “I’m the middle. I’m the reason we have rules.”
The third had, “I’m the youngest. The rules don’t apply to me.”
I laughed so hard! It’s true, isn’t it? At least it was in my family.
I’m the oldest. No surprise there. I never thought that I made the rules. I just knew I had gotten in trouble for not following the rules, and wanted to help others learn from my mistakes.
I felt responsible for everyone and everything. I guess that comes with being the oldest.
Today, I realized that this feeling of responsibility is very, very, very deeply ingrained in me. While I was praying for my family (which I do a lot). First one person comes to mind, and then another, and then another.
Before long I’m overwhelmed by the needs of everyone in my life. So many people (more beautiful than the lovely daffodils above), so little time. I want to give them the loving care and attention they deserve. I want them all to be well, happy, and know the love of God every moment.
Then the Lord showed me something.
I’d been feeling like if I don’t stay focused on praying for my family, then the Lord won’t take care of them and their needs. Like my Heavenly Father doesn’t love my family even more than I do…
That, of course, is ridiculous.
I learned a great lesson today. While the Lord wants us to intercede for each other in prayer, the process, the outcome, and the responsibility are His. Otherwise, He would not put it on our hearts to pray.
I think sometimes the reason we don’t see results from our prayers is that even after we ask the Lord for help, we keep trying to fix things. We won’t let go of the responsibility.
I learned today that I really, really want to do things the Lord’s way. His way is perfect, and His love is true. He wants good for me and for my family, and I want what He wants.
The only way to peace and freedom from worry is to let my Heavenly Father bear the responsibility, because He is Lord. He is the eldest. And because He loves me!
In a nutshell, I am to pray, leave it, and follow His leading. He doesn’t need for me to do everything. He wants me to believe that He loves my loved ones infinitely more than I ever could.