“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
I am not sure if this was translated correctly. And maybe the simple message is that “if anything is bothering you, just talk it over with God.”
Telling me not to be anxious about anything is almost saying not to be concerned of anything. Some may define anxiety attacks as having a lighter end of a spectrum to a bolder end. Over 90% of my decisions are carried out anxiously. Things I forget then suddenly remember to do. Things of which I expect a normal outcome, but then seem to be getting out of control. The verse is pretty much saying to “be calm”. You can try to be calm. But when you fear of being found guilty of failing, what do you think you’ll do next? Anything, but being calm.
We push each other’s buttons of anxiety, daily. Daily, we express to each other how unsatisfied we are of each other. Daily, we complain. Daily, we wish things would go as expected.
There’s more to being “still” than simply looking “still”. The guy who looked calm either had it all together or is simply too tired to be worrying or anxious about anything at this moment. Or maybe he’s just saying that it’s not his problem to be concerned of whatever it may be. But did you know that, sometimes, people make it your problem? Regardless if it’s yours or not, all the fingers are pointed in your direction, like when Christ was asked to give wine at a wedding he was invited as a guest.
Personally, I know that I move from one anxiety episode to another, until I’m tired enough to not be concerned of anything really. I have alarms set on my phone. I have push notifications popping up every moment. Now, this next one is a recent acquisition. I even have my son’s teacher sending me a message about whether my son had waited for his turn to talk or not.
When it comes to the do’s and dont’s of the Christian life, I fail miserably. And it is only when I fail, do I find any rest. When I succeed at crossing that traffic light before it becomes red, or finding an empty checkout lane at the supermarket, or making it to work before time and traffic free, I then struggle at keeping up the pace or “making it better”. To this, I find no rest. But when I fail, I rest.
When I fail, I rest.
Many times I try to do things to please God, and I end up failing always. The reason is always the same. God doesn’t want me to do anything for him to please him. He just wants me to rest from all of that. And this is why when I try to walk that thin line, he breaks it. When I try to be careful of the edge, he pushes me over it. All because he wants me to rest. Rest, because Jesus did everything necessary to please God. As Jesus now rests, God wants me to rest.