I think my dad had a poster or a little statue in his office which said that.
Here I am sitting. And thinking. I honestly have only a partial thought in mind for this blog.
In the “ya can’t make this shit up” category: today’s “verse of the day” on Bible Gateway (well, it might possibly have been two days ago’s verse since i haven’t updated the page since then) when I just looked is:
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 NIV
Now, of course, it is one of my favorite books of the Bible. And, it so happens that I have an affinity for chapter 4 of Philippians. But here’s the thing…today, mom had a little panic attack about buying shoes. And, while I still get all jammed up inside just wishing she could make a decision, or remember what she said five minutes ago, I instead should go back to Philippians 4. because there’s so much good stuff in there.
What good stuff? Glad you asked.
Rejoice. I mean, it’s kinda an “antiquated” way of saying, “Don’t worry, be happy” (which in and of itself is kinda antiquated now). Paul (wrote Philippians) actually maintains you should rejoice in everything. Good, bad or indifferent. So, instead of wringing my hands until they hurt when “stuff” happens…REJOICE, MARY. You have so much to rejoice about: a job. A wonderful husband. A second job you’re actually excited about. A house that is paid off and one you want to sell. A car that is paid off. New tires on that car. A mom who is alive, vibrant and healthy. I am blessed. Even in the saddest of moments…I am blessed. So, REJOICE MARY!
Then there’s that stuff up there. Pray away your anxiety – bring your petitions to a God that loves us so much that He will replace our anxiety with peace. Yes. Anxiety will be replaced with PEACE! Geez, who doesn’t need a little peace. But not just peace…the PEACE of God which passes all understanding! More Power Peace. Turbo Peace. Peace Jacked Up. I want that.
And, then there’s the 4:8 verse:
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Tell yourself to think of those admirable, good, true, noble things. Think about them…skip all things that DON’T fit into those categories. And, try to mimic Christ (well, mimic Paul who was TRYING to mimic Christ at that point).
And those of us who forget, Paul was in prison when he penned quite a bit of ALL these letters. So check this out.
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
We tend to remember the “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” line, but forget that Paul admits to knowing need and knowing plenty. He has been in both places and has learned to be content. Content in Christ. Can any of us say that? Genuinely say that? That when I know I have nothing, I can still be content because Christ gives me strength. I know I wish that was my first thought. Usually when I’m down to nothing, my first thought is filled with panic. But Paul says, “Nope. Christ’s got my back…”
How about this one: 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
I think his God is my Good…and he’s gonna meet all our needs according to the riches of his glory – We have riches coming. Oh, don’t get that excited…wait, get WAY excited. These are riches beyond what our broken, fallen world can give. These are the “gold and silver” of redemption and everlasting life. The $50s and $100s of salvation and grace. What else do we need? Seriously…that money stuff, the property, the baubles of our human form…ya can’t take it with ya. AND…when we get to see Him in His glory – we will be redeemed!
Finally, Paul teaches us to 21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. I will be extrapolating here but…when we come across a child of God (whether we know them to be Christian or not), we are to greet them as if you are greeting a brother or sister in Christ. Show them light, life, and love. Show them how you have come to know the abundant life Christ came to give us. Show them how you are saved. Death has no control over you – Christ’s blood has bought and paid for it. Show them that. Do not let your humanity cause you to grumble or groan about this person or that. Greet them ALL in Christ Jesus. All of them. Not all of them “except for” Mary who is mean to me or Frank who says bad things…or…or… or…NO. All of them.
How are ya doin? Are you with it all? Remember, I was just sittin, and thought of all of this. With one nudge from God. Go back, start at the top and revisit the nuggets we get with Philippians 4. (Remember, that’s just chapter 4!)