28 April 2010
Be Anxious For Nothing
Helen and I were at a conference last week. On Thursday morning, the speaker, Graham Cooke, listed four levels of fear:
3. depression (perhaps 'dread' would be a good word here, too)
When I heard the word "anxiety" I thought of the scripture that says "Be anxious for nothing".
We got home and the next morning, Sunday morning, I looked up "Be anxious for nothing" and decided to nail it down.
6. Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.
Well, I was an usher that morning, so I was out in the lobby doing usher things. There was also a friend that was hurting and needed us to pray, so two of us prayed for him. Also, I was sharing with people that there is healing in praise, and I wholeheartedly believe it.
Immediately after my ushering responsibilities were done, I felt this 8 out of 10 intense pain come on me in less than a minute. It was right across my front where the diaphragm is.
I went to the men's room to see if I needed to throw up. No. I went to the car to see if I could just lean back and recover. No.
I went back in and told Herb I can't serve communion this way. He prayed for me right then. That was good.
I then told Karen I couldn't pray for her after the service, since I hurt so badly. So she and Al prayed for me right then. That was good. Then Karen went in and got Helen, and Helen drove me to the ER as she was praying for me.
OK, so as I was hanging onto the strap, I knew I had to practice what I preach (and I wanted to). So somewhat weakly, I said things like, "OK, LORD, Hallelujah" And I kept saying, "Be anxious for nothing". But it still hurt of course.
What was illustrated to me at that time was - the truth of the Word of God that is already inside me was all I had to keep me from panic. In terrifying times like this, we are not able to go back to the written Word of God, it has to be in us already.
You know that "sword of the Spirit" mentioned in Ephesians 6:17? That's the word of God that is already in you, that you have already pondered or meditated on and memorized, that you have made part of you. It is not the Word of God that is on the pages of the Bible, which you have never made your own.
And when the battle comes, you better have a sword.
Well, I spent two days in the hospital, and I needed to reactivate that particular scripture a few more times. I found that Philippians 4:6&7 is not just a principle to live by; it's a promise, a personal promise to me (and you). In fact, that's what the Word of God is - personal.
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quoted is from the New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers.