Sunday, July 29, 2007

Meditation on Philippians 4:6-7

I wrote this a while ago in my journal. I just came across it recently and thought I'd share here. One of the blessing of keeping a journal, in my opinion, is being able to look back at different times in your life and remembering what God was teaching you at the time.

I love these verses in any version, but for a while there I was just kind of chewing on them from the Message and envisioning how the Apostle Paul might have explained them to me in person. (I can be kind of thick at times, so Paul might have had to be pretty blunt with me!)

Don't fret or worry. [You know what you do. You obsess about many little things. Some things haven’t even happened – you just assume someone’s upset with you. Or that you’re going to have a bad day at work. Or that you won’t get everything done.]

Instead of worrying, pray. [Okay, well if you can’t quit cold turkey, how about trying something else instead? Something that really works. Like talking to God about things.]

Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. [Are you still having a hard time understanding? Here’s what it looks like. Picture a potter at the wheel, a wet, slippery lump of clay before him. The one hand petitions. It asks of the clay. The other hand praises. It affirms what is good. That’s how you need to view your worries, as an inanimate lump of clay that is powerless to control you. Instead of allowing your worries and fears to control you, remind yourself of what God has already done in your life and the lives of those you love. And then lay your heart out before God. He already knows what is going on.]

Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. [Sooner or later, you will start to realize that you can take God at his word. You can trust him with the little details of your life, as well as the big problems. Christ would like to be in control of things and he would do such a better job than you are. Will you let him? Something happens when you acknowledge your brokenness to him. You invite him in. He won’t force himself on you. But when you let him, he can pull things together for you in ways you never imagined.]