Peace with God
December 7, 2021, 1:03 PM

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. Philippians 4:6-7

Today, we live a "high test," fast lane, immediate gratification, microwave timing kind of life. I try to be intentional about my quiet time, yet with pressure on many fronts - unanticipated emergencies, shifting schedules and multiple conflicting priorities - it can be difficult to carve out that time to recharge. Yet it’s that very time that facilitates all else. In a culture that applauds a "whoever has the most toys, wins," grab and gather mindset, many of us are struggling to get ahead, or to be honest, just stay afloat. 

Negotiating off the rail behavior from the kids, disagreements with loved ones, or the crash and burn at work, we race through our day, anxiety mounting, at a pace that does little to offer fulfillment or contentment, but rather creates more anxiety at what we don't have than we do. What remains undone. What is left on our to do list for tomorrow. Perhaps, all the while, wondering is this all there is?  

Do we realize we are doing this to ourselves? In the course of a day, I can literally feel my shoulders bunch. My stomach churns. I snap at my loved ones without meaning. I ask myself, Why? This is when I stop what I'm doing and just breathe. And remind myself that my why is Him. I read Paul's comforting words in his letter to the Phillipians, that God’s peace is available to me. To all of us.  A peace that transcends all understanding. I don't know about you, but I could use some of that! One of the main themes in Phillipians is “hope beyond suffering, and Paul's message is this: by centering our lives in Christ we may have true joy. Peace that defies explanation.  And, think about the context in which he penned these words - in prison. 

Modern life can be stressful, yet I wonder how anxious we would be if it was all taken away? So, what do we do? In every situation, means all. We are reminded that on the mountain or in the valley, at the grocery store or in traffic, at the PTO meeting or on the computer in that "going long" work Zoom meeting, the peace of God is available, because He is with us always. All we need do is speak to Him. With our prayer, our practice of communicating with our God, and petition, our respectful, humble requests, with thanksgiving, a truly grateful heart, present our requests to our beloved Heavenly Father. And rest in His presence. Just the thought of this brings relief.

I don't have to wait for church on Sunday, or small group Bible study. Every situation.   I take a quick time out and thank God that He is with me always. Gift Gugu Mona, South African philosopher, reminds us, "A moment in the presence of God can change many things in your life." A mere moment. How many moments in our day could be transformed? I take my moments whenever I can. God has spoken to me in the shower - in the midst of wash, rinse, repeat I've heard his transformational whisper. I have felt his nudge in my car more times than I can recall. Do you need take an opportunity to breathe slow and deep, and gratefully, humbly, spend some quiet time in His Presence? Will you let the moment transform your mind and heart?

Prayer: Father God, mere words don’t feel sufficient to thank you for Your steadfast and faithful presence. I am humbled by the gift of peace and communion You offer all who come to You in prayer and thanksgiving. Please remind me that regardless of my circumstance, I need not worry or stress. Regardless of the demands put upon me, I can proceed with calm, serene in my mind and heart, when I place my burdens at Your feet. Lord us every moment to transform me by Your great love, Your tender mercy, and Your abounding grace. Remind me Father, when I get trap in my chaos, that You are my peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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