Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘worry’

Three no-no’s

What are the worst sins that Paul mentioned in his letter to the Christian believers at Philippi?  This letter of his is amazingly positive, especially given the fact that he writes it as he languishes in a dark, dank, dismal Roman dungeon for the crime of sharing his faith.  And the prohibitions contained in it are remarkable in their seeming triviality—at least, compared with the “heavy” sins mentioned in his letters to other churches.  Or are they?

The three things that Paul forbids these people to do are these:

–acting out of selfish or prideful motives (2:3,4)

–grumbling and arguing  (2:14)

–worrying (4:6)

All of us would have to confess that we’ve done these quite regularly.  Why would they be a big deal to God, anyway?  In each of these, our eyes are turned on ourselves and our own situation, rather than on God and on others. 

The antidotes follow:  Look at God and others instead of at ourselves.

Pride & selfish motives are countered by an attitude of service.  Paul reminds us repeatedly to be concerned about one another’s welfare above our own (2:3-4, 20-21).  In this, Jesus is our supreme example, who set aside his glory to lower Himself to the weakness of human existence and then still further to an ignominious death on a cross—all for our benefit. (2:5-11)

Grumbling is countered by serenity.  Paul shares how he (in prison!) has learned to be content in any and every situation, in good times and in unspeakably difficult circumstances.  He can manage this attitude through God’s strength.(4:11-13)

Worry is countered by awareness of God’s sufficiency.  Prayer about our every concern, along with thanks to God, will bring God’s peace to guard our minds from anxiety.  (4:6-7)

Helping Daddy Worry

Tomorrow I’m going to be “celebrating” (in my heart) the birthday of my eldest son Nathan—halfway around the world.  Coincidentally, I’m in the process of keyboarding the contents of his baby book, and here are a couple of the gems Smile.

Age 4:  Why are there a so many seeds in watermelon?  Maybe God thought they were raisins.

Age 5:  My husband had taken the two boys along to town and had mechanical trouble on the way.  When they got home, I got this report:

br55lmk1

I smile at that because it seems so silly and useless.  But how many times do I “help God worry” over things that go wrong in my life?  Do you suppose He thinks it’s funny or sad?

Unburdening

My recurring nightmare is about school.  Classes are beginning and I either haven’t yet registered or have misplaced my books or failed to do my homework or can’t find my classroom.  It seems there’s always something to worry about, whether in dreams or in real life, which is the fodder for those dreams. 

When I was in elementary school, I used to lie awake worrying.  For the life of me, I can’t remember what I worried about!  But when I shared it with my mom, she gave me a Bible verse that has stuck with me all these years:  Casting all your cares on him for he cares for you  (1 Peter 5:7).  David said much the same when his life was in danger:  Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.  He will not permit the godly to slip and fall (Psalm 55:22, NLT).  I love these verses and the beautiful songs that they have inspired.  I first heard the former on a children’s recording, and the latter is set in Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah.”  For all ages and all styles, this reassurance of God’s care is our comfort. 

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