Holding God’s Hand When You’re Anxious (Philippians 4:6-7)
By: Anne Peterson
Today’s Bible Verse: 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
Peace. It eludes us. Slipping quickly through our fingers, no matter how tightly we try to hold onto it.
I was at the doctor's for what I thought was a routine eye exam. I heard something I had never heard before, “You have a freckle on your eye. I’d like you to see another doctor.”
Those words have to be some of the most anxiety-producing words. Right up there with the words, “I’m very sorry to have to tell you this…”
And as we receive those hard things in our lives, the enemy of our souls stands right outside the door of our minds, ready to paint the most dismal scenarios in vibrant colors.
God’s antidote for anxiety is for us to turn things over to him. To recall who God is and to remember nothing is too big for God to handle. As I reflect on the times I’ve been afraid or anxious, I remember sometimes giving in to that temptation. But as I’ve prayed, or asked others to lift me in prayer, God provided peace which guarded my heart and mind.
Nothing in my circumstances had changed, but my heart was encouraged. I felt calm. And I thought about God’s goodness and faithfulness.
Do I ever feel weak? Yes, at times I have. But like Paul, I am learning whenever I lack something I can trust God to provide it. One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh. The Lord will provide, not the Lord might provide. Paul was confident that God would supply all his needs (Philippians 4:19). Furthermore, Paul graduated to the place where he delighted in weaknesses, in insults, persecutions and difficulties. Why? Because Paul realized when he was weak, then he was strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). No longer was Paul relying on his own strength. He was leaning on the Lord.
I love reading about the life of Paul because I don’t picture him white-knuckling difficult situations. Like when he sat in prison, shackled and weary, Paul didn’t complain, but instead, he sang praises to the God he leaned on. When God gives you his peace, it transcends everything you’re going through. I have tasted that peace and it’s almost indescribable.
I hope you have experienced it as well.
Look around at how many things in our lives have changed. Especially lately. And yet, God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). That’s why we can take a deep breath, no matter what we are facing, knowing we can always take hold of God’s outstretched hand.
The doctor just came in to give me the results of my eye procedure. The freckle is benign. And as soon as the doctor left his office, I left as well, still holding onto my Father’s hand.
My Father’s Hand
I do not understand my life,
it’s difficult for me.
Some questions have no answers,
at least that I can see.
And yet, with every year I’ve grown,
there is a truth that God makes known.
I do not have to understand,
but simply take my Father’s hand.
Anne Peterson © 1996
Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always There: Finding God's Comfort Through Loss. Anne’s first memoir is: Broken: A story of Abuse, Survival and Hope. She has published children’s books and poetry books, such as Droplets: Poetry for Those in Grief, and He Whispers: Poetic talks with God. Anne is also a regular contributor to Crosswalk.com. Anne’s poetry has been sold in gift stores since 1996. Check out Anne’s website at www.annepeterson.com or connect with her on Facebook.
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