Written by Jackie Davis
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. Philippians 4:6-8
I come from a long line of strong West Virginia women who are competent and faith-filled, who see all of life as a grand story that God is weaving. You will never meet women with more courage, strength, and inner determination to face what life gives them. But, they are also classic worriers. They can literally make up things to worry about. That is my legacy.
These verses mean the world to me, not because I am always filled with the peace of Christ and never worry, but because I have struggled countless times. With His continued patience and grace, however, He is breaking the cycle of worry in my life and I am leaving a new legacy for my family. What have I learned?
First, in EVERY situation and with every reason to worry, I need to bring it to Him. He promises HIS peace only AFTER I come to Him in prayer. And, here's the hardest part: I need to do it with thanksgiving. Why be thankful? Because, every situation I find myself in can help me grow in my walk with Christ...every single one. And, boy, has that ever been true. I could write a book about His faithfulness in growing me! Besides, thankfulness trains me away from worry.
Second, one of the best ways I can love my family is to let them SEE me take my worries to God in prayer. Personally, I need the fresh inspiration of God's Spirit to fill my mind and heart and lift me to new places of grace instead of wallowing in my own troubled thoughts. My family is a sacred trust; they have been given to me for eternal purposes. Being an example of prayer and trust instead of worry is one way I can point them to Christ.
Finally, I have come to expect the peace that He promises if I go to Him first. Sometimes, God gives me peace about a situation that is unexplainable. This summer, I had a significant health scare with many medical tests, several procedures, two hospitalizations, and a surgery. Throughout the whole ordeal, God's peace surrounded me like a warm blanket. I didn't worry one time! God's grace was present in a way that defied explanation. He promised that peace and He delivered.
Have I graduated from the School of Worry? Probably not. But, the older I get, the more that hindsight allows me to see His presence, His comfort, and His provision through all of the worries of my life. He shows up every time! I pass on this legacy of faith by talking about these stories of provision and care. I believe my prayers will outlive me. They may find their answers years after my own life on earth is done. In the meantime, I will keep walking in the promise of Phil. 4:6-8.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, in Matthew 14, I read about how Peter took his eyes off of You while walking on the water and started to sink because he was worried and distracted. I have walked in his footsteps, but not on water. Even though You tell me not to worry about tomorrow and what it brings, sometimes that is very difficult for me to do—as a parent. But, You were right there for Peter and You are right there for me, too. Thank You that I can come to You with my worries. You have everything my family and I need in Your hands. But we need You most of all. I pray with all my heart that my children see this, that they will learn to bring it all to You and know the peace that You give, Lord Jesus. You are my peace, dear Lord, and I pray that You will be my children's as well. In Your holy and precious name I pray, Amen."