Here I am, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. No sleep. Body still, mind racing. Panic building.
What if I don’t get my job done?
What if I am getting sicker?
What if I don’t make my deadline?
Why does life seem darker at night? Not just literally. It’s as though Satan and his minions are just waiting for me to be alone so they can begin the battle for my mind. Recently I began to meditate on Philippians 4:6a: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything”. Did the Apostle Paul really mean not to worry about anything? Is that even possible? Isn’t worry just part of human nature? Yes, worry is part of our human nature. Unfortunately when sin entered the world, emotions like worry did too. However, our fallen human nature always clarifies what being separated from God looks like. And it often looks like fear. As God’s beloved children, we are called to faith, not fear. Faith says, “God is in charge of my life; I will trust Him, even when circumstances might suggest He’s not there. I believe God loves me and knows what is best for me.” Faith always crowds out fear. My heart longs to live in faith; however, at times this is difficult. But here’s the key: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). If I haven’t made time to hear from God through His Word, I find my prayers being more of a monologue of fear-based worry. But when I make time to listen to God, I’m reminded of His promises and I become familiar with His voice. As a result, my prayers really do change from panic to praise. In bed at night, a dialogue evolves (no longer a monologue). When I turn to God with my concerns, I can hear His response. As John 10:27a tells us, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them …”.
God’s Word reminds us to put the kingdom of God first and the things we need will be ours (Matthew 6:33). In other words, when I devote myself to God first, all the rest will sort itself out, and this brings peace….What is most pressing in your life right now? Whatever that is, put God’s Word there instead. Replace worry with the truth of God’s love and power. Then we can trust that God will do as He says: “keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed” on Him (Isaiah 26:3a).