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  • Kimberly Oden

Remaining Whole When Things Feel Harried

Do you ever have one of those days where you awaken to something that sets a feeling of anxiousness in motion? I had one of those today. I know better but for some strange reason I checked email at 4am. Yep, you read it right – 4:00 in the morning…I was going to rise early to spend time with the Lord before Markel and I headed to the gym but then I did what I knew not to do – I checked email only to read one that set my heart a pitter-pattering.

I went to the living room to open my Bible and yet my thoughts kept wandering back to the email. As I pondered the email, I thought about the verse in Philippians 4:6 that simply says, “Be anxious for nothing.”

Its four simple words that are packed with a lot of power. I LOVE it because it’s a positive command to be anxious for nothing – no thing. Nada, Zip. Zilch. Zero…Not even an email communicating frustration when your heart's desire is to serve well...

Some versions of the Bible say, “Do not worry” or, “Do not be anxious”, but the original context was, “be anxious for nothing”! Like not a, “do not”, but simply “be”. (I think a whole sermon could be written on that!) On a side-note, whenever I work on communication for LCA, consistently from the beginning, the Holy Spirit prompts me to change words around so it’s positive - like instead of, “Transcripts will not be released until fees are paid”, He whispers, “How about, ‘Transcripts WILL BE released WHEN fees are paid.’” It’s a minor detail but it ministers encouragement to my own heart, so I think that’s why this revelation about a positive command speaks so intimately... The word for “ANXIOUS” comes from a Greek word that means:

  • To fracture a person’s being into many parts

  • A part as opposed to the whole

  • To be distracted

  • To be divided

  • Figuratively => To go to pieces!

AND the word “NOTHING” comes from two words:

  • Not a possibility and

  • One

So literally, NOTHING means

  • not even one

  • no basis

  • forbidden

  • have nothing to do with & without delay

As I thought further about this, my mind wandered back to the email awaiting a reply in my inbox…how one of the enemy’s schemes is to distract us through any means necessary in order to divide our thoughts away from Peace who resides within! And ultimately, from one another. Even when we choose not to, “Hold our Peace”, Peace is patiently residing within us! He doesn’t go anywhere but our own anxious thoughts divide our insides causing to forget that Peace the person within trumps any hand we are dealt! WOW! Yes, as I thought further about the morning, I confessed and asked forgiveness that I didn’t follow the Holy Spirit to spend time with Him and instead followed the flesh to check email. When I stepped outside what I knew was obedience its like the enemy took full advantage and hurled a circumstantial stone into my midst that tempted me to become anxious. I bit. Isn’t this His MO? He likes to tempt us to forget who we are (protected royalty) and Whose we are! And when we do, our worrisome thoughts fracture our inner being into many parts, causing us to forget that we are WHOLE because of the work of the HOLY Son in us! The bottom line is that we have ALL we need because of Him even when circumstances scream otherwise. And in that moment when the stone comes hurling towards us we have a choice to hold our Peace or to drop Him and pick up the anxiousness that is trying to take His place. As I think back on my morning, I wished I had the wherewithal to “be anxious for nothing!” No thing! Not even one! That I would remember that despite what I’m facing, there is NO BASIS for me to fall to pieces and that in fact, by definition it’s forbidden! Father God, help us to have nothing to do with anxious

thoughts and everything to do with praise and thanksgiving! Forgive us for the moments this past week when we have allowed our thoughts to fracture our inner being, dividing us from Your Peace! When we are tempted to fall to pieces, Holy Spirit would you remind each of us to hold our Peace? To speak little? And to love well despite what is unfolding before our very eyes? You are our Peace Maker - You are the very essence of peace...let the fragrant aroma of peace permeate from our insides and fill the very air around us with your Presence! And may your holy Presence be an ever-present reminder to remain whole when things feel harried.

p.s.The song, My Hallelujah, has been on repeat for the past few weeks...I heard Mrs. Tuinder, our 2nd grade teacher who LOVES Jesus, praising the lyrics at the top of her lungs one day as she prepared to receive her students...and I was like, "YES! Nothing can take my hallelujah...shadows will fade, darkness will break, I'll keep on singing your praise!" Such a great song to sing proclaim when we are tempted to let our thoughts be divided from our Peace!

My Hallelujah by Brian & Katie Torwalt

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