This morning it is early as I write this, I mean EARLY! At this hour the rooster is still snoring and the Sun is still way beyond the horizons view, but yet....I am awake. My anxious thoughts invaded my dream and woke me up out of a perfect slumber, so now here I sit, bible in hand, meditating on what feels today like the most challenging scripture I've read in a long while.
Phil 4:6-7 is a very familiar scripture to most Christians. One that is very pleasant to read when you are not facing trials or big life changes, but it is during these very times that we need it most. This morning I am lead to it again.
"Do NOT be anxious about ANYTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all your understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Sometimes I read this and feel like I should be skipping around in a world that rains lollipops and daisies while I sing this verse and chase butterflies, but indeed...as ideal as that world seems, it was meant for THIS world, and for me, in all life's turmoil which God foresaw. When there are multiple worries with multiple outcomes, how do we submit them to God in thankfulness and prayer? Today that is my honest question. Reading on it becomes even more mind-boggling. That once we submit our worries and anxieties to Christ he instead gives us peace that GUARDS our hearts and minds? Talk about a GOOD trade-in deal.
I can't help but think about all the past times we have tried to trade a vehicle in at a dealership crossing our fingers for the best possible price, but instead only getting a SHOCKINGLY LOW number that seemed like if we sold the vehicle for parts we would get a better deal...this is NOT the kind of trade-in value Paul is talking about in this verse. God's trade-ins are NEVER FAIR, they are always so far above the lowest price it would be like trading a rusty old 80's Honda for a 2012 Luxury SUV. His trades are always exceedingly selfless, and always give us the better deal, always.
That's what trading in our anxiety for peace is as well. Who else could possibly provide us peace when we hand over our deepest worry or anxious fear? Only Christ.
Today I am faced with many scenarios that I can choose to play over and over, worries that I can repeat until they keep me up at night and cause me stomach aches.....OR I can thankfully, and prayerfully offer each of them to God...and then in return, He will offer me peace to GUARD both my heart and my mind from any thought that tries to steal them back. I think that sounds like the deal of the century.
So, this is my challenge today. Anyone want to join me?