Week of July 16
by Skip Heitzig
An executive realized he was overloaded with stress and worry in his life, and so he wrote a letter to God. It said, "Dear God, I hereby resign my position as general manager of the universe." Later he said with a twinkle in his eye, "And wonder of wonders, God accepted my resignation!"
In life there's a lot of stress, and sometimes it gets to us. Worry begins like this: We get a thought in our minds, like a little trickle of water. Then more and more thoughts come in, and it's like a trench is dug out, and the water is flowing, and we're flooded with worry. We try to grapple with it, and we can't.
We need to learn how to react the right way. Philippians 4:6-7 gives us the tools to do that: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Some people view this as being simplistic. It's not. It's very profound. I have a hunch that a lot of you live in verse 6--worry, anxiety, fears--and you haven't yet graduated to verse 7--peace, security, tranquility. When you learn how to get there, you will have a new lease on life.
Worry causes many problems in life, including a reduced ability to fight disease. It's also unproductive (Matthew 6:25-34). But mostly, worry is unbecoming of a child of God. It shows we don't trust God's power, His sovereignty or His wisdom.
So the solution is to pray. Paul doesn't say just to stop worrying. He says replace it with prayer. Jesus said to his disciples, "men ought always to pray and not to faint" (Luke 18:1). Our prayer is to be humble, not a demand but a submission to God where we recognize that He is sovereign. In exchange, God promises the peace that surpasses all understanding. You can't put it in a test tube and examine it. You can't map it out on a chalkboard mathematically. The world looks at you and can't figure you out. "Why are you so peaceful?"
So how's your stomach lining? How are your arteries? Do you need to resign from being the "manager of the universe"? Replace your worry with prayer. As you turn things over to God, you get the peace of God--that tranquil calm, that confidence in Him. He's working. He's in charge.
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