“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 seems 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 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 yours? 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 be concerned of anything really. I have alarms set on my phone. I have push notifications popping up every moment. Now this 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 we try to do things to please God, and we end up failing always. The reason is always the same. God doesn’t want us to do anything for him to please him. He just wants us to rest from all of that. And this is why when we try to walk that thin line, he breaks it. When we try to be careful of the edge, he pushes us over it. All because he wants us to rest. Rest, because Jesus did everything necessary to please God. As Jesus now rests, God causes us to rest.
When the Holy Spirit reminds us of the love of God, despite current situations and circumstances, only then are we succeeded to rest, peace and joy that Christ is to all of us, the forgiveness of our sins, the enrichment of his grace and mercy toward us all.