Monday, June 24, 2024

The Way to Peace (Phil. 4:6-7)

Was back in Philippians 4 today in my morning Bible time. 

When I got to verses 6-7, I thought about my wife Becky and what she meant to those of us who knew her. I rehearsed in my mind what her love meant not only to me but to so many others as well. When Becky passed away, not only did her husband lose a wife, her parents lost a child -- the eldest of their six. Mom and I often talk about this. 

Though I had lived in anticipation that God would grant our request for Becky's healing, the answer was no. Looking back, I realize that I'm a better and more God-dependent man because he withheld that request. 

We Christians believe that the God we serve is sovereign, that he has the absolute right to guide us along a path that is not of our making. Yes, we pursue the path we think we ought to take, only to learn that it's not the best one. That turn in the road is usually totally unexpected. Looking backward, I can say that every major transition in my life came as a total, complete surprise to me. At every step I learned that the antidote to anxiety is found in the linked exercise of prayer and thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6-7). In prayer, the anxiety is brought before God, who is totally competent to deal with it. In thanksgiving, the anxiety is resolved by deliberately accepting the circumstance as something an all-wise and all-loving God has appointed. 

In a time of loss and transition, it's easiest to retreat into a corner, complaining to ourselves. But when we bring the matter to God, he gives us his peace. When Becky passed into the presence of Christ, we her family committed the matter to God. The Lord had given. And the Lord had taken away. We blessed his name for both.