Read Philippians 4:4-9
We moved to Germany in June. We’d never been there, so we had a lot to be anxious about. Our family of four left home and everything comfortable in Wayne County for a year of unknowns in a foreign land where people spoke a language we could barely understand and ate food we knew little about.
And that doesn’t even touch on the worry that accompanied our travel. Checking eight overweight pieces of luggage, carrying a total of six carry-on bags plus an American Girl doll, some Euros and our passports while balancing the duties of parenthood and conscientious Americans traveling the world carried an entirely different level of anxiety.
Guarded minds were exactly what we needed as we left our comfortable lives for the adventure of a lifetime.
That’s why our then seven-year-old’s list played an important role in our lives that year. She grasped it firmly in her hands through that first flight’s turbulence. I’ve held it tightly in my heart ever since.
“Whatever is true . . . noble . . . right . . . pure . . . lovely . . . admirable . . . excellent . . . praiseworthy — think about such things” (v.8).
It’s a list of filters for our thoughts. These kinds of things are where our minds must go when we let God take our anxieties and leave them at His feet. The God of peace is present, and our minds are steadfast when we let His things feed them.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). God made the promise thousands of years ago through His prophet Isaiah. Then Paul re-iterated the same promise when he instructed the Philippians to be anxious about nothing. “. . . (B)ut in every situation, 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” (v. 7).
When we let God be God and we give Him the worries that pull us into fretted living and fearful thinking, the God of peace uses the peace of God to protect our minds. So we can live freely and unafraid. We can rest at ease because Jesus Christ is alive and with us.
So where will your thoughts go today? Will you let God carry the anxious ones? Will you let the God of peace show you the peace of God? Will you let Him guard your heart?