Showing posts with label philippians 4:6. Show all posts
Showing posts with label philippians 4:6. Show all posts

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Anxiety is a Beast

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

“Life is better when you cry a little, laugh a lot, and are thankful for everything you’ve got.”

As one who lives with anxiety, I cling to Philippians 4:6.

When I look back over my life, anxiety raised its hand way too often. In school, I was the kid who wanted to hide when we read aloud in class. I’d just as soon fade into the brick wall as wait to be called on for the kickball team. I wasn’t just shy (although I was shy) I was terrified of attention.

That was my anxiety. The beast has a unique way of manifesting itself in all of us. Most of us feel anxious in certain situations due to stress. Some anxiety is normal.

As an adult, my anxiety reared its head as panic attacks. In my forties, I returned to college to finish my Bachelor’s degree, but I absorbed more information, at one time, than my brain could handle. To get technical—the serotonin didn’t hang out long enough for the process. The doctor figured out the problem and recommended medication. To me the meds are no different than if I was diabetic and had to take insulin. I need them.

But along with the medication, I have another healer in my pocket. Prayer. When I seek God’s attention and pour out all that I’m thankful for—the anxiety dissipates. Yes, I cry and laugh. Laughter is wonderful, tears sometimes help, but the best antidote for anxiety is gratitude. I can sit and talk to my heavenly Father about all the wonders of spring. As I observe my flowers, I say thank you. When I think of my loved ones, I pray thanks. When I consider Jesus’ sacrifice for me, I bow in appreciation.

God created the science behind the meds which help my anxiety, and he’s given me joy and peace in place of fear.

Replace anxiety with gratitude.

Click to tweet: Anxiety is a Beast

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Palms up...Let Go

Philippians 4:4-7

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.

My flower bed looked kind of pitiful.

The black-eyed Susan's blossoms had dropped and their leaves had turned reddish brown like some of the autumn trees. The wind had knocked them down for the count. My lavender plants stretched until they looked lanky and the woody under part showed. The blazing stars' heads looked more like cattails than purple flowers. My zinnias were the only plants hanging on to summer.

I could wait for the first frost to kill more foliage or I could start the process of cutting the plants back. With clippers in hand I attacked the lavender. A lovely scent filled my nose as I snipped the branches. With just two plants, the trimming took minutes. But what a difference the pruning would make for spring growth.

Sometimes life mirrors a flower garden. I plant, fertilize, water, and prune my flowers, and God waters, prunes, and encourages growth. Sometimes I need more than a trim. Old habits, like worry, need chopped out to allow for more positive behavior. Worry produces about as much good as a gangly plant that languishes and flops in the garden. While some plants survive and even flourish with a quick trim, others like the black-eyed Susan and blazing star must be cut to the ground in order to grow the following spring.

Paul calls us to pray instead of worry. Our heavenly father asks us to talk to him instead of keeping our concerns balled up inside or wringing our hands with frustration.

I sat on my porch the other day and tried something I'd read about, but not done. I opened my hands, palms up, and held them in front of me. Then I prayed. This small gesture of letting go of my requests brought me peace as I spoke to my Father in heaven. Worry steals the peace that encourages my faith. God listens. He loves to hear from us.

Pray instead of worry. God's peace guards the most vulnerable parts of our being.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

He Hears Me When I Call

Psalm 102:1-2, 17 (NIV)
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
    when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
    when I call, answer me quickly.

He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
    he will not despise their plea.

Prayer is a privilege. If I don't ask my heavenly Father for help, that's on me.

My five-year-old granddaughter bows her head and prays every night with her momma. During the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, she asked Jesus to "stop the rona." Her little heart echoed the prayer of many. I asked God to protect my family and friends from the virus and to put an end to its rampage through the world. I prayed for the folks who lost loved ones and healing for those infected. No doubt God's ears have been filled with cries for help.

Now as I cry out once again to end racial tension and distress in our nation, I ask God to hear me. Please fill my heart with how to love better and how to respond as a Jesus' follower.

In the Psalm, the writer of chapter 102 sought out God in a time of distress. He understood God heard his voice and his request. Yet he begged him to answer quickly. Even as God's timing isn't my timing, I need to remain faithful and believe he will answer. And he does. In verse seventeen, the writer reminds me, "He will respond." In the meantime, I need to follow his lead and love well. I need to be encouraging and caring. I need to reach out to people with the arms of Jesus.

If I doubt God hears my pleas, I read Philippians 4:6 and am reminded to take everything to God in prayer. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
He hears me when I call.