Article, dont worry about a thing
The alarm clock goes off, but it didn’t wake you. You never really went to sleep. You were up all night and every hour on the hour you watched the clock as time slipped by minute by minute. Your thoughts take you to places so fast and so vividly that it seems as if there’s no end to all that you have to deal with. The kids, the job, the government, terrorist, that teenage driver, school shootings, that last doctor’s visit, the bills, the mortgage, the church, the facade that you just have to keep up, all these things begin to create a noose around the neck of your life. God knows that if anybody really knew that you were as basket case then how would you look? What will they think? Can you keep up the front, the façade, the illusion, the mask, the hypocrisy?
These thoughts begin to produce untamable emotions that manifest themselves in negative, damaging, draining ways that though they don’t seem to be who you are they are in fact consistent with your thinking. Fear, anger, guilt, hatred, anxiety, regret, remorse, grief, sadness, jealousy, embarrassment, and many more emotions find their way into you life and have all been intimately situated in the emotional center of your being.
These emotions, like cancer, begin to take your body cap side as the waves of physical depletion strike you over and over again. The strength it takes to go on is unimaginable. You are daily fighting improper rest habits while carrying baggage from the days before, simultaneously increasing in anxiety from an unseen horizon. This horizon is the coming of tomorrow that’s painted with the imaginary, stimulating colors of “what if”. “What if this happens or that happens”? The power of this phrase grows as you deal with life.
And that’s right; you still have to deal with life! But how do I cope? Is the answer in a bottle? Is it in pill form? Is the answer in sexual gratification? Is the answer in betrayal? Is it in self- sabotage, self- destruction, and self- defeat? Is the answer in abuse, of myself or maybe others; perhaps if I can make others feel as bad as I do I will feel better about where I am? Where is my peace?
Do you see the picture? The picture is a man running all out from an imaginary enemy, carrying everything he owns, with chains of half truths shackled to his ankles and an anvil of stress atop his shoulders. With every step the noose of “what if” tightens as hopelessness holds the end of the rope unfalteringly. He is looking back, leaning the opposite direction and his head is covered with the bag of fear! Pulled in every direction and torn from within he goes on. Persistently, totally, yet dying with every step this man represents the plight of anxiety. Sound familiar?
This is exactly what God doesn’t want. Yes, we all must continue to deal with life but the question is how you deal with it? And, where is the strength with which it is dealt with. The purpose of this lesson it to remind you that God says don’t worry about a thing, so that as we live, we live in His peace and the assurance that every little thing is going to be all right!
Our passage of emphasis gives us certain insight to accomplish this purpose. Paul says in Philippians four and verses six and seven; Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you request be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Because anxiety is generally shown in damaging self talk and the constant question and answer sessions of defeating dialogue, God remedies our battle from within and first, commands us to leave the unknown to Him. God is every where, in all times, and knows all things. Our ability to deal with the “what if” is limited, and God’s is unlimited. So the command is simply saying don’t try to be God.
Next, he goes on to prescribe the change in our paradigm. What will help us to get a handle on how God works is seeing our lives through God’s eyes. If we can see the world and the storms of life through the lenses that God prescribes we are given a constant view of hope, help and healing rather than hopelessness, hindrance, and harm. What can the covenant, creator, almighty God of the known and unknown, visible and invisible not handle?
Finally, when we put the principle of this text in practice we will be under the continuous rule of the peace of God, because we honor, and dwell in the presence of the God of peace. Does it happen over night? It happens to the degree that you see God. As your picture and perspective of God grows so grows your peace and so minimizes your storm, issues, and situations, until your left with peace.
Peace is definitely the absence of war and the war under discussion is the war within. But peace is also the understood position of the child of God. The vicissitudinous happenings of life will continue to come like the seasons, but how we handle them remains the same. Obey the command. Change your perspective and continue to let God’s peace rule your heart by staying near the God of peace.