Thursday, December 15, 2016
by Catherine King
Philippians 4:4-9 (NAS)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.
These verses have been a balm to me at different points in my life. During times of stress, they have been a comfort. During times of anxiety, they have calmed me. But, to be honest, they have not come to my mind during the recent election cycle. And I know of no one who was free of stress and anxiety during this challenging time.
Instead of taking comfort in these verses and the peace of God, I have spent countless hours absorbing all that our 24-hour news cycle has to offer, as well as reviewing articles, posts, and tweets on social media. While many aspects of our news programming and the world of social media leave a lot to be desired, they are not in and of themselves “bad.” But they do not inspire a forbearing spirit. And they do not quell anxiety.
If these past eighteen months weren’t enough, we are preparing for Christmas: a season filled with decorating, shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, traveling, and parties. All of which can cause stress and anxiety – even in years not accompanied by a presidential election.
As we are sorting through the aftermath of the campaigns and as we prepare for this Christmas season, let us take a moment to let our requests be known to God in prayer. Let us lift our anxieties and worries to the Lord. As we enter this season of Advent and prepare to welcome the Christ child, let us focus more on those things that are right, true, honorable, pure, and lovely; and less on social media and a perfect Christmas.
May we do all these things as we prepare to meet the Christ child and rejoice in the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension.
Lord, we lift our anxieties of the past year and this coming season to You. Quell our apprehension so that we may be filled with Your peace and our hearts may be ready to welcome the Christ child. Amen.