Peace! I know I am a bit late, but as I watched the men’s gold medal game Sunday morning, I wasn’t feeling all that peaceful. The Swedes came out flying, and I thought, ‘What do you mean the Swedes don’t stand a chance announcer-guys?’
As the camera moved to the “suits” upstairs, also known as the guys that put the team together, I realized that like them, I was anxious because I was not in control of the game. The guys on the ice were, and how could I possibly trust them to play well enough to win. (‘Cos apparently, I could do better if I were on the ice… the most ridiculous statement ever uttered by woman …)
I began to feel at ‘peace’ when we were up 2-0, and even more peaceful at 3-0. A nation breathed a collective sigh of relief.
I am almost certain that God barely hears from Canada until there is a gold medal or world championship game on the line. And, then prayers go up from basements everywhere – from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland – I am partly joking!
Prayer is a part of my daily life. But, I all too often take my eyes off of Jesus, and onto the circumstance, and start to panic. Like in the gold medal game, I focused on those darn Swedes!
Paul offers the Philippians and us some practical advice to this problem.
The chapter title is: Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:4-9 ESV).
Paul tells us that the “[t]he Lord is at hand”. This reminder in itself is enough to help me get through those moments of uncertainty, doubt and anxiety.
“The Lord is at hand.” He is not far away, but close. He is not sitting on His throne unconcerned about our problems, or busied with the cares of the world to not notice our difficult situations.
Let’s allow ourselves to be in awe of God. Let’s remember to think about the things He has done in our lives in the past. We can know with certainty that He will continue to provide for our needs, whether they be material, emotional, spiritual, etc.
In fact, Paul follows up this passage by acknowledging how the Philippians had provided for his needs. “And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again” (Philippians 4:15-16). Amen!
So, to recap – the key then is to keep your eyes off of the Swedes, (no matter how good he or she looks) and focus on Jesus. 🙂