Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (NKJV)
When I was very young, we lived in a small cabin out on the family homestead some miles beyond the small village of Forest Grove here in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada. There was no electricity or such utilities back then.
I grew up in a secure environment with good parents. The earliest memories I have are from about the age of four. Some of those involve waking up in the night afraid, either from strange noises, a bad dream, or just worrying about a monster or something under my bed. I remember sometimes working up the nerve, jumping out of my bed, running scared as fast as I could into another room, and hopping into bed with mom and dad. What a refuge! Whew! There, I felt safe and secure right away, and I could just snuggle in and sleep safe and sound. I’m sure that lots of folks can identify with something similar.
In bed with my parents, I would be “anxious for nothing”. But why? It must have been because whatever frightened me did not seem to frighten mom or dad one little bit. Whatever felt threatening to me, certainly did not threaten them.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)
In this Scripture, God is reminding us to run to Him, and not only to prayerfully give our worries to Him, but to leave them with Him. He wants us to remember that whatever threatens or scares us does not threaten or scare Him! We need to remember that not only is He immeasurably bigger than our circumstances, but He is also bigger than the feelings and emotions of worry or fear that we may experience in the midst of those circumstances. Because He promises us that He is sovereignly working out His good purposes in our lives through everything, we are safe and secure in His hands, and nothing and no one can ever separate us or snatch us out of His hands or thwart His purposes — ever.
I need more of this to permeate me, because trusting God surely is one of those essential, child-like attributes that Jesus must have had in mind when He told us to “become like little children” in Matthew 18:3. My feelings of security and peace in my parents’ bed as a kid came from somehow knowing that any “monsters” couldn’t really get to me without having to go through them first. And if anything could actually get past them … well, then it couldn’t possibly be anything worth being afraid of. No wonder the Lord is so often called our refuge, our fortress. No wonder He tells us so many times throughout the Scriptures to “fear not”.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to remember how many times, in every kind of situation or trouble, You tell Your people in Your Word, “Fear not, I am with you!” Amen.
Bruce Wilcox Lac La Hache, British Columbia, Canada