This past Sunday, my pastor continued his series on Philippians. This week he only focused mainly on two verses:
“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.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
As you remember a couple of weeks ago, I have trouble when it comes to worrying. I do it a lot over certain areas in my life. However, in person I hide it pretty well. Even if you know me really well, I’m usually pretty good at keeping it from you unless you ask me. I can be a “ninja worrier”.
That being said this week’s message gave me A LOT of food for thought. Like pretty much a good deal amount of folks in the service, it seemed as if the message was specifically for me. Everyone worries to some degree about something. If you’re a parent, you’re going to worry. Our pastor mentioned that there was a man he met that said he never worried because he trusted God in everything. While I wish that I had faith that strong, I do wonder if he was a parent because I highly doubt that anyone can be a loving parent and not worry about their children.
The takeaway of the message for me was that we need to hope in the Lord and not in the results. Which is what I don’t do AT ALL. My focus tends to be on what the outcome is going to be. It’s hard to not hope for that. If you think something is going to happen, if you want it to happen, if your prayers have been centered around something trying to happen, then it’s no wonder why you focus on the results.
There’s a difference between concern and anxiety. Example: Say someone told you on Sunday they were going to get in touch with you to get together during the week. It’s now Thursday and you still haven’t heard from them. Concern: “I guess that person forgot. Maybe they got busy. I hope they’re ok. But since they said they would take the responsibility for contacting me, there’s nothing I can do about it.” Anxiety: “WHY AREN’T THEY CONTACTING ME????!! Did I do something wrong? What is wrong with me that I keep getting ignored? It’s my fault isn’t it? Or maybe they died? Should I do something about it??? WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO ME????!!”
Yes I think you can see the difference. (And I don’t mean from the increase of punctuation)
I borrow from tomorrow’s worries a lot. I’m scared of what the future could possibly bring. Unfortunately it’s in my genetic makeup to worry and I have to fight it. I have to trust in the Lord. I don’t know why things happen or don’t happen but I have to trust that God has his hand in all this. And even though I may not understand right now and there’s a good chance that I may never understand until I get to heaven and ask God why (and believe me I’ll have a list of questions), I must have faith that God knows what is best for me.
It’s hard. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen. BUT I am going to keep having hope IN the LORD and not in the results. And keep praying that my desires will line up with the Lord’s and that he will take care of me and provide and protect. And even if what I fear the most does happen, that the Lord will be with me throughout it all.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27)