Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Phil 4:6)
It is said that moving house is one of the most stressful experiences we can face. Certainly in the past few days Muriel and I have experienced some pretty ‘interesting’ emotions! In the space of 3 days we went for a second visit to a house we were going to buy – and decided to withdraw from that deal; then we made an offer on another property, significantly above the asking price – but were refused. After several days away from home expecting to see real progress, we came back with nothing. But then out of the blue, a house we had seen and liked several months ago was on the market again, and this time our offer was accepted. Rejoicing!! Then suddenly we heard that our friend who is living in our house in Northern Ireland and about to vacate so that we can sell it, has had a heart problem and is in hospital! An emotional roller-coaster? Yes, for sure.
You may not be in the throes of moving house, but perhaps you are facing issues to do with health, employment, or family. Whatever the ups and downs in your life, no doubt you have experienced levels of stress that you would not wish to repeat.
Paul writes (from a prison cell!) ‘Don’t be anxious’. Don’t worry! Be at peace! Rest easy!! How exactly does he expect us to live through our stresses and tensions and still stay in peace? Simple: through talking to the Lord (in everything: if it’s important to you, it’s important to Him), keeping things in balance by remembering all that we have to be thankful for, and making our requests to Him. If we do that, says Paul, then the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (v7)
Did you catch the key thought there? God’s peace does not depend on our understanding everything. His peace does not come to us through things working out in a way we can understand. That means His peace comes in another way – through knowing Him. And if we focus on what we know of Him, we can know God’s peace in our hearts in the midst of all our struggles.
I think it’s called ‘trust’.
PS Just heard that the proposed HS2 route passes very close to the house we now want to buy …..