A Bible Reading
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.
Whilst I love this passage, I also find it very challenging. St Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything – is that possible? Not anything?
When our daughter Anna was poorly we realised that anxiety is a choice. We could choose to be anxious or we choose to trust God, to trust the medics, and not to be anxious, but rather live for today and hope for tomorrow.
St Paul goes on to give us the key to an anxiety-free life, way before we had Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or Mindfulness! He says that, in every situation, we should develop a relationship with God based on prayer (here I think he means reflecting on God’s presence), petition (bringing our needs to him) and thanksgiving – and we have so much to be thankful for!
And the result of this? God gives us his peace, way beyond our understanding, which will guard our hearts (our emotions) and our minds (our thoughts).
Loving Heavenly Father, in all the uncertainty of life, help us to put our trust in the certainty of your love and of your presence. We give you thanks for our many blessings and place our needs in your compassionate hands. Amen