An Antidote to Worry

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.

Philippians 4:0

He had the nurses turn his bed to face the window. “I like to watch the sun come through,” he says. I move over and slat the blinds, look down onto the street—onto one of those beautiful cherry trees that reaches up with red-fruited fingers to scratch on the glass.

“Look at your cherry tree,” I say. And he moves the wheelchair over beside me so we both can gape. It’s the day after a big storm, and the snow is almost melted, but in its place has come the icy rain. Each cherry on that tree is wrapped in ice—each sealed with a clinging crystal dewdrop.

His voice changes when he talks about beauty.

It would be easy for him to be angry, to worry about what the future might hold. The accident that took the use of his legs was not his fault. Instead, this man of faith chooses to be thankful.

“Each day I wake up, I thank God that I’m still alive,” he says, as his eyes well up with tears. “I’m so grateful. I have a lot of living left to do.”

My friend has discovered a secret. Peace is not a product of the absence of troubles. Christian peace comes from the confidence that God is working in all things for the good of those who love him. And when our hearts get caught in all the troubles of this world, Scripture tells us that thankfulness is a way to achieve that peace. It’s not always easy. It takes a deliberate effort. When we become distracted by everything that is wrong with this world, with this life, with this body, why not shift our thoughts to everything that is right instead?

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What have you been worrying about lately? What is one thing you are thankful for today? Is there a tree outside your window? Spend a few minutes thanking God for the beauty of his creation. How has this brief time of praise changed the way you feel?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you that I can come to you with anything that is pressing on my mind. I praise you that there is no concern too small that you do not care about it. Lord, I believe you are bigger than all of my worries; help my unbelief! When the struggles of this life threaten to choke out joy, help me to deliberately shift my mind to praise. Open my eyes to the wonder of your love. In your name we pray, Amen.


Don’t Worry, Be Thankful

In Philippians 4, Paul invites people to rejoice in the Lord always. Always? Even when Christians are being persecuted by Rome? Even when Paul himself is in prison? Always? Even when someone I love is dying? Even when I have lost my job? “Do not worry about anything,” Paul continues. Instead, we are called to present our worries to God with thanksgiving. Many of our readers in the United States are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, with a turkey dinner and pumpkin pie. We invite you to reflect on gratitude and thankfulness and consider sharing some thoughts with your family this week from our theme Don’t Worry, Be Thankful.

Featured image by Mary Anne Morgan. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.