Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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M.E.'s Bible Verse

I had a bout with anxiety today, and anxiety got in a few good punches.  This is pretty typical for me.  Something happens that makes me afraid, I worry about it, I feel stressed, then I figure out how to make it O.K.  This process can happen in a few seconds.  Sometimes it lasts much longer. 

This time it took longer.  An hour or two after that initial hit, I was still processing my fear.  Then I remembered something M.E. Seckman told me on Sunday.  I was visiting with her and Tom.  We were talking about all sorts of things when she said "Philippians 4:6 is the first Bible verse I ever memorized."  She then repeated it from memory.  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  I told her "that's a good one."  I thought I should remember that verse.

So there I was a day later, processing my fear, trying to figure out how I was going to fix my problem.  Suddenly M.E.'s Bible verse came to mind.  "Do not be anxious about anything."  Well, that sounded good.  But how?  "In everything ... present your requests to God."  So I did.  I told God exactly what the problem is.  I then told him specifically what I need.  It wasn't very spiritual, in fact you might laugh if I told you what it is.  I was direct and to the point.  I then thanked him, as the verse also says to do.  I thanked him for his goodness, his love, and his faithfulness.

You know what happened?  I felt instantly better.  I experienced a sense of peace about the problem, a peace I still have several hours later.  Has God given me what (I think) I need?  Nope, not yet.  The issue is still there, and the solution is something I can not get for myself.  The problem is not fixed and it didn't go away; but, I am not longer anxious.  Why?  Because the Lord is faithful.  As I simply made my need known to him he freed me from my fear.  That is the work of his Holy Spirit, a work for which I am grateful.

Tomorrow I will probably experience something that makes me afraid.  I intend to remember M.E.'s Bible verse, Philippians 4:6.  I am offering it to you to remember as well.  Rather than be afraid, you and I can go to our Father who loves us.  We can tell him what we need and therefore give our (false) control over to his real power.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."