Lately, I’m feeling overwhelmed with life. I feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. When I look at my to-do list, I’m not sure where to start. I need to look ahead at the coming months and start brainstorming how to do Christmas, among other things, in the midst of a pandemic. But sometimes looking too far ahead leaves me feeling hopeless and defeated.
Max Lucado claims Philippians 4:4-8 provides a remedy for anxiety and worry. (Anxious for Nothing, 2017)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
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.
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.
It is really hard to rejoice when things seem so chaotic you aren’t even sure how to move forward. Things feel out of control, until you let go and let God. Throughout the scriptures, we are told “do not be afraid,” “do not be anxious,” and “do not worry.” In Philippians we are told how to let go of our worries and anxieties. Praise God for being with you even in the chaos. Pray and ask God for help. Give thanks that you can offer your worries to God and leave them there. And think about, meditate, rest in all the good things of life.
Today I praise God for finding me in the midst of my own chaos. I rejoice that God is always with me. I pray for strength and guidance to prioritize my to-do list. I ask for self-forgiveness, permission to not be perfect and not get everything done in one day. There will always be more things on the to-do list. And that is okay. I give thanks as I let go of the stress and leave it all at the cross; recognizing God is the one in control, not me. And I rest. I breath. I focus on the blessings of my life. The God moments I see everyday in our congregation. The slow, but consistent progress I’m making on my dissertation. And the exciting possibilities as we dream up new ways to do ministry. It is hard to change everything about our lives, but change is also full of promise and possibility.
I invite you to read Philippians 4:4-8 everyday for the next few weeks as a way of finding the promise in the midst of the chaos.