Peace; May 17, 2019

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.

I have these two verses memorized in both languages to the point they seem like clichés, but they are still incredibly powerful. The problem is in the follow-through, actually doing this in faith and receiving the peace that is available to God’s children. That’s where the rubber hits the road, as the saying goes. We are back to James’ very blunt, and yet essential, comment: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) The difficulty here comes in actually releasing things to God. Our viewpoint is so low that we can’t see over the next mole hill, or even around the next pebble in the road. That’s why God pointed out to Isaiah, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) God’s viewpoint is high enough that He can see the end from the beginning, so He’s not worried. The problem is in our believing that as more than just an intellectual proposition. We have to really trust God for this promise to be operative in our lives, so these two verses are an effective gauge of our faith.

Cathy and I are in a full-on practicum in this matter right now. God has told me personally to rest, relax, and rejoice, but when things pile up (from my viewpoint, anyway) it can be very hard to do that. Cathy is in the even more difficult position of dealing with physical pain that is at times very intense. She has no idea how long this situation is going to continue, nor what the outcome will be. Both of us are what many people consider mature Christians, but we are being reminded that we are all infants before our heavenly Father. I am seeing that Cathy is being used powerfully to bless various people in that hospital, but I don’t see why she has to endure so much pain in the process. As I just told her over the phone, I’m not used to crying while I’m praying in tongues, but I was doing that in my desire for her to be relieved of her pain. We are being shown that this is spiritual warfare, manifested in various physical things as well. We have got to remember that “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) The road can be very hard indeed, but in Christ, the destination is sure.

Father, thank You for the peace that I do feel right now, just as Paul wrote to the Philippians. It’s much nicer than I was feeling half an hour ago! I pray that peace for Cathy right now too. I ask that You enable her to communicate accurately with the nurses and with everyone else. I pray that Your peace would indeed guard her heart and her mind, right now and each day and each moment to come, so that she may be effective in standing against the devil, not only for herself but also for the various patients with whom You’ve already connected her, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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