This week the focus is peace — peace that is beyond understanding. The quiet strength that seeps through everything regardless of circumstances. How do I access that kind of incredible staying power? There is a formula!
Step one: practice joy.
Step two: relinquish worry into Father’s capable hands and thank him while you’re there!
6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.Philippians 4:6
“What is worry?” you ask. Worry is ruminating on things you cannot change. Often worrisome thoughts begin with “what if …. ” and take off from there. What if it rains while we are at the game? What if I get sick from the food on the buffet? What if I miss the bus? What if no one comes? What if . . . .
The second step to knowing peace that is out of this world is to recognize worry for what it is and to lay it into God’s trustworthy care. This is possible when we learn to talk to God about the things that worry us. Not just talk about it though, tell him what you need and then thank him. Two changes occur in this simple exercise.
First, expressing the need helps bring clarity. Often worry has nothing to do with what we need, but obsesses over what we are afraid of losing. When my worrisome thoughts are saying, “What if no one comes?” my need is not for people to show up. My need is to be loved or appreciated or noticed or understood. That is my need. People showing up is how my mind sees that need fulfilled. Expressing the need in prayer — I need to be loved, noticed, appreciated, etc. opens the door for the Father to show up and show off!
Secondly, gratitude is the key to nearly every spiritual break through, including peace. I am most vulnerable when I do not notice or appreciate all the gifts right around me. And, seriously, there is so much to be grateful for in life. It’s time to start recognizing the gifts and giving thanks.
Setting my intention by rejoicing in everything and then putting worry to rest by recognizing my needs in prayer before the Father while also thanking him for all he has done, is doing and will do, positions me perfectly to experience peace that blows my mind. And I can sure use some of that!