"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 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 4:4-7)
How do we find peace?
Honestly lately, I have been struggling with anxiety. I think it's tied to my grief, but there are days and moments when I feel paralyzed by it and an inner spinning that is tough to stop.
How do I combat it? Walks, reading, snuggling my dog, comfort food, but those only dull the crazy for a moment.
In the moments I really stop and take my struggles to the Lord and lift my heart and mind to Him and who He is...then for more than a moment I feel the peace wash over me, reassure me that it will all be okay, that He's bigger than my pile of dishes and my lack of momentum. He will sustain me through the day. Practicing his presence as many moments as I can is the goal (I am not so good at it lately), but that is where peace resides, in constant conversation with Jesus.
Lord, we need this peace. Open our anxious hearts to the abundant rest you have for us. Help us to rest in the shadow of your Almighty wings, tucked under your covering, carried in your arms. Wash over us this peace that is beyond our understanding.
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Just before the famous 4:13, Paul speaks about how he's learned to be content no matter the circumstances--rich or poor, well fed or hungry. The secret: God gives him strength in ALL circumstances. Paul trusts God to come through no matter what is happening to him
Now that is something I need way more than the strength to cliff dive or stick a landing, the strength to BE CONTENT no matter what.
"Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life." Philippians 2:15
Anytime I tell myself not to do something, that is what I do. So how can we spin this in the positive? Develop contentment and do conflict well, speaking truth in love.