Philippians 4: 5-7
5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I called my sister to report on a date the previous evening. The guy was memorizing the book of Colossians!!! That was totally a new idea to me. I had memorized verses in confirmation but a book of the Bible?? Is that possible? My sister said she was working on Philippians and the organist at church was memorizing Hebrews! I asked her why the book of Philippians. She responded that it is a book characterized by “Joy.” Paul, writing from prison, is writing to his followers about the joy found in faith.
Paul prefaces thanksgiving on the realization that the Lord is near. I then thought that meant, “near to returning” but I have since matured and realized it means the presence of the holy at all times. Because God is near, walking with me, guiding me, protecting me from the worst evil and loving me, I can ground my prayers in thanksgiving. That does not mean I get what I want but God is open to discussion, concerned, interested in all that interests me and God will work it out for the best in the big picture. In the kingdom of this world we experience horrible situations, great suffering, and unexpected disappointment but we are not abandoned or alone.
Thanksgiving allows us to respond to others with gentleness and not judgment and vengeance. It also means our hearts and minds can be at peace as we release the results into God’s hands. We are running a spiritual marathon with a trainer who is interested in all aspects of life.
I is for ……, N is for ……, T is for ……, E is for ……, S is for ……, T is for …… We are important to God. Thank you, Lord!