I normally like to start these with a cool story. When I do it makes me feel better about what I’m saying and it helps me remember something that happened to me in a new light. I normally like to do that. Not tonight.
So let me start this one in a very conservative, bible-teacher, kind of churchy way; let me begin this conversation with a scripture:
Philippians 4:4-9 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
You see, my friends, today I feel anxious. For some seasons in life my mind does a bad job managing stress. This is one of those seasons. Every little thing is a new reason to worry. My email wont work … worry. I can’t get ahold of this company … worry. I get fearful that all those crappy thoughts and fears in my head will be exposed … worry.
My dad used to worry a lot about me. I can’t blame him. I got hurt every five minutes. If I was running in the street and he yelled out “Don’t run in the street … you might …” I had already fallen. But his worry was pervasive. It really encompassed everything about me. I know it was because he loved me, but it was often overbearing and controlling. Again any father who saw their child suffer the way my father saw me deserves the right to be overbearing, but overbearing it was none-the-less.
You see when I read the scripture above I’m reminded why I am anxious. Its a problem that permeates my life. I’m not in control.
You see the writer says “don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” That attitude represents distinct trust in Jesus. It recognizes that we, no matter how hard we try, are not in control.
So tonight … I bow my head humbly to the Lord Jesus Christ and try to give these cares and worries over to him. Tonight I can be thankful that I don’t have to worry about it, because Jesus does the work of redemption and these light and momentary afflictions are gaining a great harvest of righteousness for me.
This is a testimony of my brokenness, which, in turn, is a testimony of Jesus’ completeness.
And tonight … I fix my thoughts on Jesus, who is noble, righteous, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
And tonight, I’m thankful that I get to go through this. Life could be easy, but what would the sunshine mean without the rain.