|Monday, Sept. 13, 2004 || If.|
I was fretting about something the other day when a portion of a verse popped into my mind:
"...the peace that passes understanding will guard your heart and mind..."
Now, mind you, that is a paraphrase, I know. So, I did a search for the actual verse and read the entire paragraph for context.
This is what I found:
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
In the midst of my worrying and obsessing and longing for peace, I found that He doesn't just grant it. There are a few things I have to do to experience it.
1. "Don't worry about anything." Yikes! But you don't understand, I was born into a family of worriers. It's genetic!!
Unfortunately for me, it doesn't say "don't worry about anything unless you have a genetic predisposition to do so." Nope. Simply and firmly: "Don't do it."
2. "...instead, pray about everything." Exchange worry for prayer. Put my energy into something other than nail-biting and thinking of the "what-ifs".
Oh, I pray. I've been praying. But there is one little word there that I missed: "instead". No praying while I am worrying. Prayer instead of worry.
3. "Tell God what you need." Okay, so I can tell him my concerns, my needs. That's okay! He wants to know.
"Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles." (Psalm 55:1-2)
4. "...thank him for all he has done."
I was immediately reminded of Old Testament passages, and David's psalms, so often proclaiming, seemingly "reminding" God of what He had done for them as they petitioned Him for their needs.
Then, and only then, do we find these words: "If you do this, you will experience God's peace".
If. Such a small word. Such a huge impact.
Encompassing not "can I", but "will I".
That peace that so eludes me at times? It would seem I have some work to do.
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