Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 [The Message]
I was really blessed by the love and grace in the responses to my post yesterday. My intention to draw near to God during this month is not from a sense of guilt or failure, but knowing that things could be better than they are and honestly desiring that. I’m not trying to set myself up on some legalistic plan that is doomed to fail, but to make the most of each day, whatever that looks like. Yesterday I was blessed with a great time of prayer while Torre had a long nap. Today the weather was beautiful, so I went on a long walk with the dog and the stroller, and spent the afternoon visiting with a friend. I didn’t feel guilty for not praying, but when I saw an opportunity to read my Bible I took it, and loved this passage from Philippians. Anxiety has been a defining attribute for me most of my life (an observation that was confirmed by learning my enneagram personality type last summer – so interesting!), so this passage stuck out to me, bracketed as it is by “worry.”
For me, this passage on this day seems like a confirmation that I’m on the right track. This month is not about fulfilling some outside standard of holiness or looking pious; it is a pursuit of God’s wholeness. I always find that prayer enriches my life because it brings out the details – friends, circumstances, hopes and fears that come to mind when I open my heart to God all give me a better appreciation and understanding of them. Being able to lift those things up to God brings this passage to life: the things I ask and thank God for remind me that he is sovereign and the giver of all good gifts, and that truth is a soothing balm to my frantic spirit. In prayer I am able to truly settle.
As I was reminded by my sweet aunt in an email last night, God is faithful to provide the nourishment we need in any length of time – presenting our hearts to him is more important than having half an hour all at once. Ultimately I think this month I am remembering that God has not filled my life too full, that he is there to be found amongst the night feedings and afternoon naps, visits to friends and errands with my husband. And it is wonderful.