Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which trancends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.(NIV)
As I was reading in the Bible this morning and asking God to inspire me to write more pages in the daily devotional I am writing, He took me directly to Philippians. Oh how we worry, don’t we? Am I making right decisions? What am I doing with my life? How will we afford health insurance? Can we find a good doctor if we do? Am I a good mom, aunt, sister, grandmother, etc.? How can I protect my kids? Am I feeding them a healthy enough diet? Do I measure up? Should I change jobs? Should I quit work? My mom is sick, will she die? Do I give my kids enough attention? Sitting them in front of the computer is easy, am I doing it too much? Are they provided for? What will they grow up to be? What is my husband doing when he is not with me? Am I pretty enough, skinny enough, desirable? I am sure you have many more questions that would fit here. My goodness, it never ends!
When I was a preschool director I used to stay up nights being anxious about what parents were thinking, how the staff was working, if the children would be safe, if our school was up to date, if licensing came (as they do, and unexpected) would we be written up, how I could make this better and more aesthetically pleasing. Goodness, I ran myself into the ground with worry! Then I started studying Philippians in earnest. I finally came to Philippians 4:6. When I got to that verse it smacked me right to the floor. I was missing out on peace. That is what I was craving because being in turmoil all of the time was killing me. Falling on my knees, I gave it all to God, thanking Him for the opportunity to lead and nurture those precious children for Him. That was what really mattered anyway. He gave me such a peace that it overwhelmed me. On occasion, worry would rear it’s ugly dragon head out of nowhere and I would let it stay for a while. Mercifully, the Holy Spirit would gently and sometimes not so gently remind me that I had turned it over to God. Why was I letting the dragon stay?
Paul is telling the Philippian church here not to be anxious about anything. They were under persecution as new Christians. The church was being scattered and many put to death. He is telling them not to be anxious! That sounds to me like something to really be anxious about. What Paul is doing here is giving them and us a roadmap about praying and asking. First, he tells us that in every situation to pray. I know that seems unrealistic, but think about it. You do not have to close your eyes and bow your head to pray. God can read your thoughts. Then Paul instructs us to be thankful when we ask; thankful for the outcome whatever it will be. God would bring the precious Philippians to a place of peace regardless of the outcome.
Once your request is made, peace will stand guard over your heart and mind. When someone is standing guard they are making sure that no intruder enters. The peace that God gives will stand watch as you go through your day. Can you just see Peace marching back and forth across your heart and brain? I can’t think of any better guard than Christ Jesus Himself, can you?
Breaking it down – we present the request to God, being thankful for who He is and what He will do no matter the outcome. We know that He wants the best for us. We leave the request with God and allow His peace to keep us calm. Spinning our wheels in worry only makes us more miserable and pretty useless. Trusting God in any given situation will bring us peace. Stand firm and tell that ugly dragon to leave!
If you find a penny today tell God how you are trusting in Him.