I’m on a kick to simplify my life. I’m cleaning out the garage, trying to organize, tossing old clothes I haven’t worn or needed in years, and just removing the clutter out of my life. I hate it…I hate the clutter. But, I came across something that really meant a lot. It was an old folded up paper boarding pass. It was for a flight from Nashville to San Diego with a stop in L.A. Now you would think that an old folded up boarding pass wouldn’t mean much, but something happened while I was sitting in L.A. waiting for my puddle jump to San Diego. You see this was a season of my life where I had a lot of anxiety. Anxiety about the future, my career, how I would take care of my family.
I was in the midsts of a career change, spending our family’s life savings to fly, drive, and sleep in sketchy motels all over the country trying to fulfill the dream of becoming a fire fighter and I didn’t know if the risks I was taking would ever pay off.
It was coming to a point where I was so frustrated! So full of questions…mostly starting with the word WHY. Why was it taking so long? Why hadn’t God given me the job where I could provide for my family? Why, why, why…Sound familiar to you? I was like a three year old trapped in a thirty-three year old’s body, self pity fully intact and mental tantrums to boot. I was pretty bummed and felt extremely overwhelmed. As I sat in the commuter terminal of LAX I got out my iPod and started reading scripture. It was Philippians 4:6&7.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.”
It made all the difference in the world and it became the clarion call of my heart. “Do Not Be Anxious! But …”
God did take care of me and my family and it was good! So good! It still took a while before I would find out that all of the dreaming and hard work paid off but, my heart was secure because I knew that regardless of the outcome God had us. He was working inside to give me a peace that went beyond my understanding.
What’s troubling you? Is anxiety holding you back from doing something amazing? What circumstance has you wondering what the heck God is up to or where He’s been? Read it again. Then, read it again. Now, go sit in your thinking chair and ponder…
- How much do you think our world is plagued by anxiety? (Think of all the pharmaceutical companies and their commercials on tv)
- What does Paul mean by “in every situation”? Big matters? Small matters? What does it mean to you right now?
- Why does ‘thanksgiving’ accompany the prayer and petition? Does it matter?
- What does it mean to transcend something?
- Why does Paul say that it will guard our hearts and our minds? What’s the difference? Does one overrule the other at times? If we just relied on one, where would it lead us?
Are you done pondering? Now venture out and do something amazing with life!