I have a thing with promises though that leaves me always looking for the "but".
So when he handed me a plaque that said "I can do all things..." I wanted to go read the chapter and see what he was really saying there.
What I found was more than ironic.
I've been wondering, vaguely, about how difficult this move will be. What I'm going to find on the other side (and by other side, I technically mean on the "other side" of Texas). I truly believe amazing things are going to happen while I'm there. I haven't the faintest idea what, but someone else mentioned to me just today that they felt it was going to be something like a flower opening up and I could only agree fully.
And I smiled.
So while I know this move is going to be terrific - I've also wondered about how difficult some aspects are going to be. I feel like I've gone from one growing pain and I'm about to move into the next one only the challenge is going to be wildly different from my last one.
So when I looked at Philippians 4 I wasn't too thrilled, but it does simply strengthen my confidence that what is about to come is of God so I will survive it.
Here are the verses right next to "I can do all things"
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
All of the verses around it talk about rejoicing in the Lord always. Do you remember "Oh the joy of full salvation?" Sure enough, my bible is talking to me about rejoicing. But I took the warning in these verses very seriously.
...be anxious for nothing
...let your requests be made known to God
...the peace of God...will guard your heart and mind
...whatever situation I am to be content
...any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I'm not discouraged and I'm not afraid - in the middle of my newly returned smile though I'm very sober. I see in these verses rejoicing. Rejoicing in every circumstance. I see Paul listing lots of circumstances too, half good, half bad.
Whatever the circumstance I'm going to face, I may have cause to be anxious, but I should not be anxious. I need only let my request be made known to God - and specifically the verse actually tells me to make my request known to God with thankfulness.
It tells me my heart and mind may be attacked but if I do all the stuff I just said I should do - then the peace of God will guard my heart and mind.
In these verses for some reason I read about terrific struggle. But I also read about peace, contentment, thanksgiving, friends coming along side, rejoicing in the Lord, and then rejoicing in the Lord again.
In the weeks leading up to this move I feel as though I've received a lot of promises and an equal number of warnings. God certainly has my attention.
Despite the fact that I'm tempted to be worried (aka anxious - as in "Be anxious for nothing" I know.) something is holding me back from the worry and fear. And I'm looking forward to explaining it...