In Alabama, it is hard to truly define seasons changing. I usually get the feeling of a change in season when different activities begin. For this season, football has taken over so I am sure fall will soon follow. This past weekend, we were in attendance to not one but two football games. On Friday night, we went to a local high school football game to watch one of our friends coach his team. I was very surprised that the evening actually felt cool and not humid for a change! It was refreshing to think that soon the leaves will start to change colors and I can wear jeans without sweating during the day :) Auburn football took center stage on Saturday as we drove to the loveliest village on the plains. Something about sitting in a tailgating chair eating tons of food, while watching orange and blue fans walk around just excites me. Every time I step on campus, memories come flooding back to me about my Auburn experience.
However, while these things are the enjoyable parts of a change in season, I also know things are shifting because my schedule changes and I start to get anxious during my day. So, for anybody that has been feeling a little stressed lately, this post is for you!
The verse that I am going to refer to today is in Phillipians, chapter four, verses six and seven. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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."
Often, when I think of the word anxious, other words such as worry and overwhelmed come to my head. Usually, I start to feel this way when I have a lot on my plate and it looks like everything won't get eaten before it goes cold! September has started my new year at work. New goals, new volunteers, and new meetings. With that change, summer is officially over for me and it is time to start checking the to-do's off of my calendar. Even though my events are eight months away, a lot has to be done starting now. When I see the long list on my timelines, a feeling of anxiousness creeps into my stomach and I start to worry.
Now, if I always did what I was supposed to, I would automatically drop down to my knees and give this to God. But, me the the im-perfect person that I am, I hold that feeling all to myself. In this sense of the word, anxious turns into self-centeredness and counterproductive worry. I get myself all worked up for nothing and in return, nothing gets done because I am too worried about it! The word "anything" in this verse is stated as "nothing" in the KJV and this is translated into the word medeis which means "not even one (man, woman, or thing)."
Anxiety and prayer are two great opposing forces in a being a christian. Especially type A christians! Type A's think we can do it on our own. We don't like to give "to-do's" to others out of fear and distrust that they won't be completed correctly. But, not giving our to-do's to God? How crazy are we to think that we can handle our problems better than He can? Instead, we should be thankful that He loves us so much that He wants to handle all of our problems. He doesn't want us to carry the weight of this "man, woman, or thing" on our shoulders. He is strong so we need to let God do the push-ups instead of us.
When we finally decide to let God pump some iron, we should go to him with thankful hearts, i.e. the term "thanksgiving." After I finish my prayers, I always have this feeling of peace wash over me. The notes in my Bible state that the "peace of God" is an inner tranquility based on the peaceful state of those whose sins are forgiven. This is the complete opposite of anxiety!!! It also states that when believers have this peace, they have a sense of a divine favour. This term makes me think of the saying, "If God is on my side, who can be against me?"
The ending of this verse states that this peace will guard our hearts and minds. Think of God as your personal soldier standing guard against all "man, woman, or thing" that can cause you worry. He is a strong soldier that is protective of his child. His goal is to keep you safe and not let the enemy conquer your heart and your mind.
Friends, cast your worries upon God. I know I have stopped trying to fight the fact that He can handle it better than I can. My goal is to attempt to be in constant prayer to God, giving him everything every single minute of every single day. I know that if I ever accomplish this goal, my life will be filled with a constant peace of mind. With this peace of mind comes an even more thankful heart to my strong, mighty Father. Then, I can fully enjoy the changing seasons without being anxious about any "man, woman, or thing."
Till next time, let your light shine!