"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 minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
I heard Joyce Meyer speak this morning on being thankful. I know that often I make my situation worse because I only want to acknowledge the loss and that which I don't have. I know that on my own that is all I will ever do…I may have moments when I am able to "pull myself up by my bootstraps" or brief periods when I am thankful (mostly because things seem to be going my way at the time), but without allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work in me, I will not have any kind of real and lasting peace or a truly thankful heart that continues to love others the way I am called to love them. Without this deep work of the Spirit, my pain and I (me, me, me ) will remain the center of a very sad and lonely life. I don't want to be someone who grumbles and complains (even under my breath or in my secret places behind a fake smile). I want that peace which passes all understanding and does not depend on outward circumstances. I have experienced it in spurts, and I can truly say that it is beyond my understanding. I want to abide in this Peace instead of just visiting from time to time.
Philippians 4:6-7 is actually the very first scripture verse I ever memorized as an adult. I have followed its prescription and claimed and received its promise many, many times throughout the years. Unfortunately, it is usually not the first thing I think of when my thoughts or circumstances begin to spiral downward…so many times it is only after I have exhausted my own list of failing solutions that I get quiet and still enough to hear it being whispered in my heart. I also have to remind myself that this verse does not promise a change in circumstances or the answer that I am looking for—it only promises the peace of God will be at work in me. But in my experience this Peace, this manna in the wilderness, sustains me even in the darkest of times. Thank You, God.