Do Not Be Anxious About Anything
by Lettie Cederquist
“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 4:6-7
My son, Matthew, recently flew home from Italy. His first flight was scheduled around 6 am, which was around 9 pm PST because of the time zone difference. He told us that he would contact us when he boarded the first flight to let us know he was taking off. But he forgot and I forgot—until it was my bedtime. Immediately I worried—did he make his flight? I texted him even though I realized that if he was in flight, he could not respond until his first flight landed.
Of course, my natural tendency is to worry instead of trust and pray. I knew I should pray, and after worrying I did pray. I managed to fall asleep, but I kept the phone nearby so I could hear the notification when his response arrived. He texted a couple of hours later and everything was fine. Hooray! I went back to sleep only to be awakened an hour or so later by another notification. Matthew texted to say there was a labor dispute at the airport; he had not disembarked, and he would probably miss his flight to the U.S. Yikes—here I go again, succumbing to worry about the missed flight instead of praying. And here’s another thing—I knew other people besides my husband and I were praying for his safe return! In the end, Matthew did return home safely, not as a result of my worry but because I carried my worry to God in prayer.
“Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.”
–Joseph Scriven, author of the poem that became the hymn: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus“
I struggled through the night to release the worry to God; to pray, with thanksgiving, and trust in God’s presence and work to bring Matthew home safely. I knew in my head that God was working, but it was still not enough for me to completely let go. I had an unnecessarily long night with little sleep because of my unbelief.
Heavenly Father, forgive me when I wrestle with unbelief instead of trusting in Your promises and remembering Your faithfulness. Thank You for new mercies every morning and for loving me even when I forget how much You love and care for me. Thank You, that through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, we can have Your peace that transcends all understanding, and guards our hearts and minds. Help my trust in You grow, so that eventually my natural response will be prayer instead of worry. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.