Friday, April 22, 2011

Be Anxious About Nothing

Lately I have been feeling so anxious and stressed.
Anxious about the future and anxious about dreams that are yet to happen.
Stressed about money and decisions my husband and I are making, or attempting to make. I can physically feel my anxiety during the day and I let it fester, ignoring it, wishing it away.
We have been going through Phillipians at Church and a couple Sundays ago we talked about Phillipians 4:6-7 which says,
      "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".

That is a scripture I have memorized and repeat when I am feeling anxious, but I think I do it to make myself "feel" better, rather than saying it because I believe it as truth. I think the thing that caught my attention when we talked about this at church was the fact that this is not just a mere suggestion or a good thought. Paul did not say this to Chirstians in hopes that we might listen. When he said "do not be anxious about anything", that was a command from God through the mouth of Paul. I think that anxiousness and stress are such "permitable" sins in the Christian world. Doesn't everyone deal with that? Isn't being anxious just a part of living on this earth? For so long I have thought so. When my husband called me out and said I was living in sin because of all my anxiety I was in total disagreement with him. How can I not live with this? It is what I have always known, honestly, since I can remember. I  have not taken that verse as a command, but as a suggestion or a "good thought" of how life could be. But I have too often stopped there in the scripture. I have stopped at where it tells me not to be anxious and have missed the glorious promise written there. I have been so fixated on the part of the scripture that I can "control". If I try hard enough, I can not be anxious, I can trust God, right? Maybe if I am not anxious then good things will happen. Life will start to fall in place because I am doing what God asks me, but that is not so. And I am so thankful that, that is not truth. I am so thankful that God acting in my life does not have anything to do with me doing things "right". What I have learned to love about this verse is the second part.
"...but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will gaurd your heart and mind".
What a promise! I love that all I have to do is present my requests to the Lord, lay my everything at His feet, and His peace will gaurd my heart and mind. What a promise it is to rest in that He does not assure us that he will always give us what we ask for, but He does promise He will give us what we need in that moment; His peace. The peace the truly does transcend ALL of our understanding. When we think we have think we have been given more then we can handle and can't go on, He meets us with His peace. His unending, enduring, unmerited peace.

"The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace."  Psalm 29:11

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