Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yet Will I Praise Him

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Philippians 4:5-7

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 to admit I have been feeling a bit anxious. For example I got a call last night from our cell phone company saying they needed a payment to avoid service interruption. I know what is presently in my bank account and I don't have at present the money to make a payment. Yet the Lord says do not be anxious about anything. So lets make it more specific to my situation. Margot, do not be anxious about your phone bill, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. So I bring that need to the Lord who already knows the number of hairs on my head. He knows and he already has a plan even though I don't yet know what it is. I can do the math and know that I personally need to be bringing in more finances into our household. I need art to sell, I need to pick up new music students, I need new coaching clients, I need people who love this devotional to help support it or I need other steady work to become available. 

Late last night there was nothing I could do about any of those possible income producing possibilities. So I did my best to silence the anxiety and to pray. Lord I need help. I don't have an answer. This morning I awoke to a wave of anxiety along with the words to Philippians 2:5-7. By fretting and worrying I will not change anything and neither will you. Worry and fear have more of a paralyzing effect upon us. We become like that deer frozen by the headlights of that oncoming car. That place of being frozen by fear is not a good place to be. 

So today's post is not so much a written panic attack but more of how I work my way through them. So question number one: Does my heavenly father love me? Absolutely. Question number two: Does he promise to take care of the things that concern me? Yes and he says not to worry about such things. Matthew 6: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

If I am not supposed to worry - what should I be doing? Obviously praying and thanking him. So once I have made the Lord aware of my need. I then begin to recount with thankfulness the many times the Lord has delivered me out of a tight spot. Times when I was stuck and did not have a way to solve my problem. Over and over the Lord has helped me. I have to trust that the Lord will help me with my present needs and concerns. 

Psalm 43:5
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:8
By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

The words "Yet will I praise him" bring to mind words to a familiar chorus that I hear in my head.  

Which reminds me that I can replace that fear and anxiety by filling my mind and thoughts with praise. So here are some of the songs I am listening to this morning. I have know idea what this day may bring in answer to my prayers. I also know that my concerns about bills and making ends meet are small compared to what so many others are facing. So I will turn my attention away from my own needs and instead begin to pray for others. Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. I will look for opportunities to be a blessing and to love like Jesus loves because all around there are people who are hurting. All around are people who feel hopeless and afraid. Maybe even some of you who are reading today. Take that need right now to Jesus. You already know you can't fix it or solve it and worry will not change anything except perhaps make you ill. Our God is able and He loves us far more than we begin to understand. I pray right now he would wash over you with His love. That as you choose to look to him rather than worry that his peace would descend upon you. 

So take a deep breath, He is your strong tower, he is the refuge in the midst of your storm. He is all you need and He will steady your heart. 

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