Do Not Be Anxious…
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. (NIV)
I have had my share of opportunities to be anxious over the last month:
Anxiety opportunity #1 – Traveling to Guatemala on my second mission trip this year without the safety and security of my husband to help guide me along the way.
Anxiety opportunity #2 – Crossing the border from Guatemala into Honduras and watching as guards looked over our bus at a security check point. As if that were not enough, the hotel in Copan left me anxious and concerned about what might have crawled into my suitcase.
Anxiety Opportunity #3 – Traveling to Portland, Oregon after leaving my mission buddies in Houston. Figuring out all the flights/airports/shuttle bus/taxis needed to get me to the hotel on time. Not to mention being anxious about whether or not my husband had successfully shipped all of my “professional business clothes” to arrive at the hotel before I did.
Anxiety Opportunity #4 – Observing my first diagnostic church consultation with Dr. Kent Hunter in Corvallis, Oregon. All I had to do was observe, not say a word. I know what you are thinking, how hard could that be? You try sitting next to a man that over 30 years has consulted thousands of churches in almost every denomination, written books, published articles, has his own radio program, and is known all over the world as an expert in church growth development in complete silence and NOT feel a bit anxious about missing something of great importance that he might say.
Anxiety Opportunity #5 – Actually conducting the interviews for a three day diagnostic church consultation with Dr. Hunter in Akron, Ohio. If you are still unclear on why there was a level of anxiety here please re-read #4. Add to this the fact that every single day while in Akron, I got lost while driving Dr. Hunter from the hotel to the church. I am certain Dr. Hunter was left a bit anxious too about my “diagnostic” skills and capabilities given the fact that I had a GPS and printed Map quest maps and he was better able to direct us by simply reading the street signs.
Anxiety Opportunity #6 – Starting fall classes this week and traveling to Hickory, North Carolina for a week long Christian coaching seminar. Missing the first day of class, papers due already and reading that needs to be done. Feeling behind and we have not even started.
I could probably make a much longer list but I will stop here. The point is there is opportunity for us to be anxious about anything and everything every day. But as the Apostle Paul writes, we are not to be anxious about anything at all. We are to give all of this anxiety over to God. In prayer and thanksgiving we are to seek the peace in our hearts and minds that can only be found in continuing our relationship with Christ. As disciples we are taught that we are to be careful how we pray and what we pray for. But in this case Paul is adamant that whatever it is that we are anxious about or stressed about or worried about that it be turned over in prayer and petition. Paul puts emphasis on this in such a way that we are certain that even though it may seem like a little thing, (like getting lost in Akron, Ohio) God wants to be included. God does not promise that there will not be anxious times, but it is in those anxious times when we are to turn to Him.
What are you anxious about?
Have you prayed about it yet?
Are you going to?