'Do not be anxious about anything, but, in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ Philippians 4:6
Today’s post is blog # 8 in my 12 blogs of Christmas and today I thought I’d talk about anxiety and worry, but before I do that, let me share my christmas card with you.
In our study of ‘the purpose of Christmas’ Rick Warren explained that one of the purposes of Christmas was to bring peace. Jesus came to earth to bring us peace. ‘and he shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, prince of Peace.’ Rick lists three kinds of peace that we should have because of Christmas. Peace with God, Peace with ourselves and Peace with others. So how is your peace with yourself? Rick said we can worry or we can worship. We can panic or we can pray. What is your response? I would be lying to you if I said I never worry or panic. These hit me just like the next guy, but I think what is different for me as a faithful child of God is that I don’t let panic and worry linger. I use scripture to counter these fearful thoughts and I don’t let myself dwell on them.
Trust me when I say it’s not easy to not panic or worry with my beautiful 23 year old daughter living in Eastern Europe. I know that bad things like rape, murder and assault can happen to her anywhere, but she does have added risk living in a foreign country. Have you seen the movie Taken? How about Taken 2? It’s very easy for my mind to run away with fearful thoughts of her being taken into forced prostitution or be attacked because she is perceived to be a rich American. These are very real risks for her. So how should I respond? Should I live my life dealing with fearful emotions about this possible outcome? Would my worrying help protect her from this? Absolutely not. So instead I focus on scripture and think ‘he who began a good work in you will see it through to completion.’ I think and pray on this scripture for Sarah and don’t let myself think of bad outcomes. Am I naive? I don’t think so. I am aware of the dangers. But can I remove the danger? No, I can counsel Sarah in safe habits and lifestyles (which I have done – believe me) but beyond that, I can do very little to influence her risk. I have to worship God and trust that He is in control.
So how about you? Do you need a little peace within? Why not start with prayer? If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, ask Him to help with your fears. If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior why not ask someone (I'm happy to talk) about it?