I’ve been struggling what to write for a post since last week. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in God’s word and in other readings. As you know, I’ve been writing and reading about The Quest for Serenity, but it seems to have evaded me this week when it comes to finding peace in a focused topic. So here are some late-night ramblings …
Life has so many unexpected adventures and experiences. How difficult life can get for some that they end up overwhelmed, struggling with depression, health issues, financial burdens, to the point where they can’t cope and just can’t find peace. Recently someone I used to teach in youth group decided to end his own life. There are so many unanswered questions when someone decides this. It is such a burden and loss for the family and friends left behind. It leaves such an incredible void. It really made me do some serious thinking once again about what is really important.
In my small circle of friends, family and acquaintances, there are people dealing with all types of issues: divorce, financial difficulties, job uncertainties, infertility, countless health issues, problems with parent-child relations, problems with other relationships, and job stress. Life is full of trials. My husband had a heart procedure in January and will face another in July. I find myself playing one of my not-so-favorite games – “What-If?” I’ve done it with so many changes in life. I should realize it is such a waste of precious time and energy (and sleep). Instead, over and over I play the different scenarios of what the future holds.
Here are a few things that have played in my mind the past couple of weeks:
In The Quest for Serenity, G.H. Morling shares from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, when Paul was in prison. Paul tells them, “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Paul also wrote these words,
“I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what He is doing through me.” -Philippians 1:20-26
Morling shares this quote:
Competency to deal with things as they arise and the confidence that goes with it are essential to serenity.
I am challenged by that quote to be filled with the truths of the verses above.
I find myself becoming concerned and then progressively worrying about life’s issues: Will I get something in writing to post on this blog? What lies ahead with Rich’s procedure? Will the pain in my friends’ lives ever go away? Will a planned family gathering go well? Will the health of family members improve or continue to decline? The list is seemingly endless.
Yet God reminds me of these precious words:
“I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:25-34
If I take the time to remember that God is in control, so I don’t have to worry about the details, I am so much better off and filled with His peace and serenity.
Basking in the blessing of serenity that comes from God’s perspective and grateful for His strength in difficult times ~ Faye