The God of Before

Attention worrywarts: We can count on Him to have a plan in place before we need Him.

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Posted in , Mar 24, 2015

a distressed woman sits, her face in her hands

I have a master’s degree in worry, and without a doubt, I graduated at the top of the class. Yes, I’m good at it! Can you relate?

It doesn’t help that I have a writer’s mind and can visualize each possibly threatening scenario in vivid detail. I’ve imagined axe murderers creeping into my house when something falls over in the basement while I’m home alone.

When a friend posted a photo on Facebook of a snake she’d found inside her house, other people replied on her page sharing about the snakes they’d found in their pots and pans, coiled under their beds, between the couch cushions, and in the toilet. I twitched out of sympathy for her.

For days after that, I made it a point to look in my pots and pans, between my couch cushions, under my bed, and definitely in the toilet. Am I a good friend or what? (And just for the record, any snake that shows up inside my house will immediately become an endangered species. Please spread the word to all of your snake buddies.)

Shucks, there have even been times after receiving medical news that I’ve thought things all the way through to the funeral, with my family sitting in the pews and the spicy aroma of carnations and lilies filling the air.

I imagine that some of you are probably chuckling by now because you’re my worry twin, and others are shaking your heads in disdain because we’re not supposed to worry. I know that–and I’m working on trusting Him more and worrying less–but I want to be real with you, and I suspect that I’m not the only one who worries about things.

So for all of you who have also mastered the art of worry, I want to share something that God showed me this week: He’s the God of “before.”

In Jeremiah 1:5, He says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Did you get that? Before we were even born, the God who made the universe knew us. He had a plan for our lives.

Story after story in the Bible shares how He’s always there before we need Him. God put Noah and his family in the ark before the flood began–and He’d already given them a heads-up and the opportunity to prepare for the event.

Baby Moses didn’t drown before God sent Pharaoh’s daughter to rescue him.

God closed the mouths of the lions before Daniel was attacked in the pit. Instead of Daniel being torn apart by powerful teeth and jaws, I suspect he had purring lions for pillows. 

God prepared the heart of the king before Esther went to plead for the Jewish people.

The Widow of Zarephath and her son didn’t starve to death before God sent Elijah and a miracle for their provision.

Before Joseph rose to power, God put him in prison–because He knew that the days in the prison were what would lead to the days in the palace.

Goliath didn’t kill David before that young lad found the five smooth stones that God had placed in the brook for him–and they were exactly what he needed to conquer the giant in his life.

God had an escape plan in place before Paul and Silas ended up in that dank prison cell.

The pages of the Bible are filled with numerous stories of how God was there with each person and provided exactly what was needed for each circumstance.

And you know what was most impressive as I thought about this? I can’t find one instance (not one!) where the Bible tells how God was late. Not one verse where it says, “And God showed up after _________.”

Fellow worrywart friends, the God who took care of those men and women back in Bible days is the same God who will take care of us today. We can count on Him to have a plan in place and to be there before we need Him.   

So before we drive ourselves crazy worrying about the circumstances and situations in our lives, let’s place our worries into the hands of the One who can handle them without any problem.

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24)

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