Do you ever feel like you have a million different thoughts, reminders, tasks to complete, etc., swirling around in your head all at the same time? I do. Almost all the time. And it gets exhausting. So. Very. Exhausting.
These past two weeks for me have been a blur of I don’t even know what. Seriously, so much has been going on that I really couldn’t give you an honest accounting of what’s been sucking up my time, but I do know that I haven’t had enough time for everything I’ve wanted (or needed) to fit in.
I have also received a lot of bad news in the past two weeks—loved ones losing their jobs, a close family friend’s wife dying unexpectedly, my car being out of service for the past week and a half (and indefinitely for now). The list could go on. Add this to the never-ending whirlwind in my mind and it seems like an overwhelming flood of worry and stress.
In the midst of all of this, I came across a verse in my devotions that I’ve read before, but this time I noticed something about the context. Philippians 4:6 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (ESV) It’s a verse many of us are familiar with. But did you ever notice that this verse is actually part of the last sentence of the previous verse? The whole sentence reads:
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:5b, 6, ESV)
The Lord is at hand. That’s why Paul tells them not to be anxious—because God is near. And when the all-powerful God of the universe is near to you, why should you have need of worry? The next verse is even more comforting:
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7, ESV)
When we take time to remember that God is near, and we place our anxieties and burdens before Him in prayer, the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. What a beautiful picture—that not only will God give us peace when we surrender our anxiety to Him, but that His peace will protect and guard our hearts and minds against the devil’s attempts to stir up our worries again.