“Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
It’s hard sometimes. To not be anxious. To not be worried or stressed about events in life. General pressures, work situations, mistakes, unexpected occurrences, can all have us anxious. And who hasn’t felt anxious? Who hasn’t been worried, apprehensive, fearful, uneasy, perturbed, disquieted, troubled, agitated, tense, stressed, overwrought…. over something in life?
But here is Paul, telling us not to be anxious ever! He doesn’t ignore the fact that we may have cause to be worried. Instead he offers us a solution, by taking the situation to God, we can trade our anxiety for His peace. Our worry for His rest. God’s peace means tranquillity, calm, freedom from internal strife. You’re still in the storm but God’s peace prevails in your heart and mind. In essence, we can pray and not worry as we give our concerns to the Lord.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.’ (1 Peter 5:7)
“And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” (John Masefield)
Before the age of GPS, before the time when man-made satellites joined the stars in the sky as tools for navigation, sailors sailed the sea guided by the stars – celestial navigation. They used the position of the fixed stars as their guide. The stars were their constant in the changing seas.
God is our constant. He is steadfast and unchanging. No matter what we have to face each day, or what uncertainties lie ahead, God is there with His mercy and His love. As constant as the Northern Star is our God. There to guide us, love us and bring new mercies and grace into every new day.
It’s the day after Valentine’s Day. Just an ordinary day. No floral shops overflowing with red roses, or advertisements of what to give someone you love. No pink and red helium balloons in malls.
Yesterday would have been an easier day to write on. It would be appropriate to write about the Greatest Love story ever told when the world is celebrating love. To write about the love story that surpasses Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra. This love that is spectacular and audacious. This love story is of God whose love for us knows no end. And He would demonstrate this love it with an amazing, intricate plan of a baby, of a Son and of sacrifice.
When I think about it though, this love story is best told on the ordinary days. For it’s the ordinary days that this love is experienced. That as we go through our normal days this extraordinary love of God for us is there, always there.
And if we pay attention, in our ordinary days there are demonstrations and signs of this love everywhere. For God is always celebrating His love for us.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
It’s funny how some days time can just seem to vanish. One minute you’re well ahead of schedule and then suddenly the time is gone – as if into a vortex or you’ve entered a parallel universe where you’re late!
Time – it’s such a precious commodity. A limited to 24 hours a day commodity! Life coaches and experts have many tips on how to make the most of your time. To be more efficient at work, at home. To make every minute count!
But it’s true, there are moments in our day for our taking. Across our days we have small slices of time – maybe just 5 minutes here or there where we can take a breather, grab a coffee even! These are moments too where we can turn our hearts towards God, to pause and be aware of His presence in our lives. It’s how we keep the conversation going with God long after our quiet time is over.
“In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure.” (Brother Lawrence)
“There is no sweeter manner of living in the world than continuous communion with God.” (Brother Lawrence)
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour
Trust without borders. Dare we? Dare we remove the limits to our faith? Those safeguards that lie at our faith’s edge? Dare we declare to God for Him to take us deeper than before?
We all have those borders – those places of security. Our health, relationships, our financial provision, our job security, our reputation, our identity. Without borders is putting that on the line. It is saying I will trust you to what you call me to, to what ever happens, I will trust.
It sounds scary to live a life without limits. But actually trusting in God is what makes us appear brave on the outside. It’s when we choose to ignore what our circumstances are telling us. It’s when despite the reality around us we choose to step out of the boat to what God has called us to. We choose to trust Him. To seek Him in the deepest waters, to seek Him in the mystery .
It means that there is nothing that will halt our faith. Nothing that puts limits on our trust in God.
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
Slippery slides slip you down
Swinging swings swing you up and down
Giant poles try to hold everything up without moving
Pointy ladders climb you up
Climby monkey bars hold you still
Spinning roundabouts get you…dizzy…
(Poem- At the Playground)
My 8 year old wrote this poem. A great description of a playground. A great description of life! In life we all have circumstances that pull us down rather like the slides. We have seasons for progress, of moving forward or upward like climbing up ladders. And sometimes we have those busy seasons in life that leave you…well…dizzy!
We read in Ecclesiastes that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” In life there is change. As much as a child goes from a swing to a slide, we move through different seasons. Seasons that welcome new babies into the family, seasons of change on the work front. Seasons of rest and seasons of pouring out. Friends gained and friends lost. Good seasons, hard seasons, joyful seasons.
It is my prayer that whatever the season we walk through it with God, with His grace, strength and wisdom.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12)
Driving along the waterfront today the brightness of the sun, the clear blue sky and the sparkling sea beckoned. It beckoned to come and sit and enjoy nature’s beauty. It beckons me to turn away from errands to pause and bask in the sun’s warmth.
It’s like that with God. There are so many moments in our days when He beckons us with His love. It’s the kind words from someone that carry with them the grace and strength from God. The warm smile that says in unspoken words, “I’m here and I understand.” It’s the acts of kindness that leave you warmed by Heaven itself. It’s the detail in a flower that reveals its Maker. And it is the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to you as you go about your day.
It’s our invitation from God to encounter Him.