“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
Today is my birthday and this means that I needed to write this thought for the day earlier than I usually would as Rob has taken the week off work and so we are on holiday. I usually sit down at the computer on a Monday afternoon to write my thought, having hopefully thought of something to write about over the weekend. However, this week, I needed to write the thought over the weekend, rather than after it, so that meant trusting that God would give me something to say earlier than he sometimes does.
I started writing my thought last Friday, but the only thing I could actually think about was the announcement that energy bills were going to rise over the winter meaning that many people would struggle to heat their houses. This was not an easy thought to work with.
I turned to the news for inspiration only to find that it was dominated by the death of an innocent 9 year old girl in Liverpool after being shot by a gunman in her own home, a place where she should have been safe. This too was not an easy thought to work with.
On Saturday and Sunday other thoughts came into my mind, but they included the war in Ukraine, floods in Pakistan, strikes and arguing politicians. None of these filled me with a desire to write about them, but all of them felt important, overwhelming and outside of my control.
I reflected on two bible readings. The first from Matthew, where we are told not to worry, but instead to seek first the kingdom of God and the second reading from Philippians which reminds us to bring everything to God in prayer.
I was reminded just how precious it is to have a God to whom we can turn, just how important our faith is at times like these when we can feel surrounded by things beyond our control. We can take them to the one who does have control, the one who is not overwhelmed by the situations and we can make our requests known to him.
I thought about people who had no faith, who had nowhere to turn to when faced with the issues of the day and I wondered how they coped. Maybe they blocked it out, maybe they ignored what was going on around them. We don’t need to do that, we can take these issues to God in prayer. And Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians that when we do this then the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.
Jesus, we ask that your peace be felt around our world in places where peace is missing.