Ever since I was a child I have wondered what it would be like to be a bird, soaring high above the earth. I’ve dreamed of the remarkable view of God’s world I would have, of the freedom to fly at will and unhindered.
But not long ago, I remembered my fear of heights. I was sitting on a mountain top watching a bird flying over a canyon, periodically diving for bugs, and as I imagined myself looking down from the bird’s vantage point, I had that sudden lurch of fear that I get when I peer over railings. For the first time in my life the idea of soaring like a bird sounded unpleasant.
Worry. Fear. Anxiety.
Most of us have struggled with these peace-crushing emotions at one time or another. For some, anxiety is an ongoing, life-sucking burden.
I have grappled with anxiety and fear throughout my life. Even now I find it lurking around the corners at times, waiting to trap me emotionally.
As I have spent time in Philippians 4:1-9 this week, I have been overwhelmed by the richness of the passage. Philippians 4:8 alone is worthy of its own book… a veritable treatise on the thought life.
But my eye and heart keep being drawn back to Philippians 4:6-7…
… do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s word is clear. There is nothing, nothing, about which I need be anxious. Do not be anxious about anything.
Instead, in everything (no exceptions!) I am to turn to God in prayer. With a thankful heart, I must offer all my requests and worries to Him. The remarkable promised result is Gods’ peace… the very opposite of anxiety. When I offer every bit of worry and fear to God, I am living the truth that I can trust Him to always have my best interests at heart.
God’s peace is not just a gift for my heart, it is also for my mind. His peace guards my heart and mind. God desires to protect and soothe not only my emotions, but also my thoughts. This is a supernatural peace, found only in Christ Jesus, and not dependent on circumstance.
God created each of us for a unique purpose in His world. Just as He created that soaring, diving bird I watched over the canyon. The bird had no fear, because it was equipped for the very thing it was doing. It was not afraid to fall, because God had given it wings and the knowledge to use them to preserve its life.
Like the bird, I have been equipped, and so have you. The bird was given wings that not only helped it soar to higher heights, but also brought it safely to the ground. You and I have been gifted prayer not only to lift us up, but also to guard and guide us to a safe landing, in peace, through Jesus Christ.
Photos by Carol Carpenter