Do not be anxious

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

This is the most-bookmarked verse on the YouVersion Bible App.  It was written almost 2k years ago, and yet it still addresses one of the most common problems we deal with– anxiety…

What do you get anxious about?  

I find myself feeling anxious around screaming kids. One of our boys used to yell when he was being harassed (by his brother).  His scream had a direct line to the part of my brain that causes headaches.  

Just a couple days ago my wife and I were on a walk and came up behind a young family.  The little boy was about 2 years old, screaming his head off for several minutes (maybe an hour) wanting to be picked up by his mom. 

His dad was pushing a stroller with baby sister inside.  The mom was walking next to “the screamer” telling him to stop it cause she wasn’t going to carry him.  For some reason that wasn’t working.  I almost offered to carry him myself.  Every 30 seconds the dad would turn around and look helplessly at the boy and his wife.  

Then something strange happened.  The dad offered to carry the boy if the mom would push the stroller.  Everyone was happy and breathed a collective sigh of relief.  I was ready to break out into song.  It is amazing how one little adjustment can totally change a situation.

Much of life is just like that.  We (or others) have someone telling us “don’t be anxious” or “everything is gonna be okay.”  In Philippians 4:6 it is God telling us.  However, turning the situation around is more than just hearing “Stop it!”  

In the case of this family it was thinking outside the box.  For followers of Jesus it is praying, letting God know what is going on, in the moment, with an attitude of thanksgiving.  That sounds pretty simple but it isn’t always easy.

I confess it usually takes me a long time to do this.  But I find God’s peace always comes when I do.

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