Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
Change has been igniting worry in my heart. Our youngest son is about to graduate high school and it looks like he’ll be drafted by one of the MLB teams in early June. Meanwhile, our oldest son is turning 21 in May and will most likely be working out-of-state for his final internship before graduating college in December. Along with this comes a list of “To Do’s” and activities and emotions that range from pure joy to desperate fear of the unknown. This also means we will be empty-nesters. Fortunately, Marty and I have a great marriage and are looking forward to our time alone together but it doesn’t cancel out the anxiety I feel when I think about the next few months and the changes that will occur. My heart races and I feel like I want to cry because even good change triggers fear of the unknown in me.
However, Instead is a great word. It means “In place of.” Philippians 4:6-7 demonstrates an exchange that takes place when we come to God with our worry. In the same way God takes our sin and gives us His righteousness when we believe He also takes all of our worry and anxiety and gives us His peace to guard our hearts and minds “as you live in Christ Jesus.” Because anxiety and worry are paralyzing JOY STEALERS we have immense freedom when we let go of them.
Of course, it’s one thing to know intellectually that worry is sin but it takes me by surprise at times, ambushing me at my weakest moments. I am so thankful that God knows this and, taking my face in His hands, whispers, “Instead….” This is when I exchange the W for an S, changing my worry into sorry. “I’m sorry Lord for not trusting you with all the details, the change and with my children’s future. I’m sorry for not believing You have a future and a hope and plans for them that are good. I’m sorry that I believe that you are not there for me or for them and I have to do everything. I’m sorry that I believed that you are not sovereign and good, allowing my past experience with man to control my thoughts INSTEAD of Your Word and Your Love.
I am so grateful that I can, instead, exchange my worry for sorry and accept the forgiveness of my Father and abide in Him with peace and joy. Today I’m choosing to tell God what I need and thank Him for what He has done, choosing peace instead of worry.