Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
This one falls squarely into the, “Easier said than done” category. I mean, it sounds like an impossible command–
Don’t let your stomach growl.
Don’t think of the color blue.
Don’t be anxious.
Frankly, it’s one of the only times in Scripture when I want to poke Paul in the eye. And if I am anxious, please don’t throw this verse at me, because I might just poke you in the eye. Because sometimes, after I’ve prayed and petitioned and thanksgivinged and presented…I’m still anxious.
And then I feel like a failure.
It is my sincere prayer that you have no idea what I’m talking about.
But I’ll bet you do.
So, what to make of this?
I take this moment to remind you that I am not a Bible scholar, just a Michael. But here’s what I think…
Worry is sin after a fashion, because it represents a lack of trust in God. If I really, truly, nose-to-toes believed that God was in control and looking out for me, I wouldn’t worry.
But, I’m not there yet. I’m that work in progress we’ve talked about before. So, like Peter, I take my eyes off Jesus, and I look at the waves, and I sink.
And, like he did with Peter, Christ stretches forth his hand and rescues me. Though I worry, I don’t despair, I don’t give up, I don’t let go.
He guards my heart and my mind. And even if I don’t always feel peace descend like a warm blanket to wrap me in cuddliosity, I know that it is there.
Here’s a thought…maybe God’s peace is less like that aforementioned blanket and more like the cop who patrols the night, keeping dangers I’m not even aware of at bay so that I can rest in safety. Guarding me.
After all, we call them peace officers, don’t we?
Happy Tuesday, Beloved.