Read (from the New Living Translation)

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 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.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:6-8

Go Deep

Justin Paul shares how worry almost took over when his grandparents got sick. And the powerful lesson that brought him peace. 

Never in the history of worrying has anyone saying, “Don’t worry,” ever made you not worry. People mean well but sentiments like, “Don’t worry. God’s got a plan,” don’t bring much comfort when you’re seeing someone you love slowly deteriorate.

Watching a loved one struggle often leaves you with nothing but worry. In the past 2 years, I’ve lost two of my grandparents (mom’s parents). For both of them, their last few months on earth weren’t easy. They spent most of it with great pain and suffering. And since I live eight hours away, every visit back home was potentially the last time we would see each other.

Cue the anxiety.

Over their final few years, my mom became one of their primary care-takers. Even though she spent far more time with them than I did, that also brought her more worrying. Daily, she worried if it would be the last doctor’s visit, the last meal she would prepare, or the last time she would take them to church.

Paul understood how our circumstances could lead us to worry. But instead of just telling us not to worry, he says to replace our worry with prayer. In doing so, our anxiety gives way to peace. Peace in the struggle? That doesn’t make sense.

My grandmother was the cornerstone of our family and losing her meant everything was going to change. She was also the nurturer and went to great lengths to make sure everyone in our family knew they were loved and important. Who was going to fill that void? Who was going to care when no one else cared? Whose house were we going to for Thanksgiving? (Okay… a little less important but still relevant.)

As my grandmother’s last few days came, my anxiety and questions turned into an indescribable peace. I remember sitting at her funeral, saddened, but at ease. Even though there was an irreplaceable void in our family, I believe God heard our prayers and took our worry.

Your worry… your doubt… your questions… aren’t too big for God. In fact, He invites you to cast all of them on Him and trade them for peace.

I will cast my cares on you
You’re the anchor of my hope
The only one who’s in control

I will cast my cares on you
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For your peace inside my soul

“Cast My Cares” – Finding Favour

 

Notes from the Beyond Suffering Bible

Anxiety – It is natural to feel anxious when we are in pain or to feel helpless while a loved one struggles. So what can we do about our anxiety and worry? Paul understood the human tendency to let our thoughts spiral downward as we focus on the negative. He urges us to focus our minds on things with eternal value and release our worry through prayer, which leads us into deeper spiritual territory where God can transform us.


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Kelly Garner
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I was a young boy and my dad near death in his hospital bed 3 hours away from me and my sister. We were staying with our pastor and wife. As I laid down to sleep that night and began dozing off I was saying my prayers and no sooner had I shut my eyes Angels appeared and whispering to me that God has control of your day–he is with us (Him) in Heaven-be strong. He gave me comfort and strength knowing that on earth we get dismayed sometimes when things go wrong yet He was staging us for that… Read more »