Are you a worrier? When you receive a bad doctor’s report or the possibility of unpleasant news, do you worry about it? I have one friend who tells me if she worries about it, then it never happens. I think she’s afraid not to worry about it for fear it would play out as she imagined.
A dear friend of mine was just diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, it came as a shock to her. She has a form of skin cancer on her tongue, of all places, and will have to have surgery removing part of her tongue. She will have to learn how to eat and talk all over again. It’s pretty scary stuff to say the least. I’ve spent some time over the past few days crying out for her and her family, asking God to shower them all with His peace.
God clearly tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 how to handle situations like this. It says,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
First and foremost, He commands us not to worry. Easier said than done, but He must know we’re capable of it if we follow the rest of the passage.
- Turn to God. Prayer is a conversation with God. When we are in a situation that could cause us to worry, we’re to turn to God. By His strength and power, we will not worry.
- Petition. Tell Him the entire situation. You can even vent. Let Him know you’re scared, that you know you can’t handle it. This is truly permission to have a dump session with Him. He’s big enough to handle it.
- Give thanks. This doesn’t mean thank Him for the crisis. Thank Him for anything and everything you can think of that He’s given you, for the ways He’s shown up in the past, for how incredible He is. Begin to list His attributes. In doing so, you begin to see the track record of faithfulness He’s had with you and the vastness of who He is. Suddenly, the crisis begins to look smaller in comparison to how great your God is. The problem doesn’t just magically go away, but when it is put side by side with God, it appears to lose it’s grip of panic on you.
- Finally, present your requests to God. Tell Him what you want, and be specific. Don’t just ask Him to provide healing. Tell Him you want the body to be cancer free in Jesus name, never to return a second time [Nahum 1:9].
It seems like we’re all in one of three places: we’ve just been through something, we’re in the middle of something, or we’re about to go through something. God doesn’t allow, or in some cases even orchestrate, trials because He is a mean Daddy. He does it for three reasons:
- To reveal more about Himself to us.
- To reveal more about us to ourselves.
- To draw us closer to Him creating greater intimacy with Him.
I don’t know where you are in life, but if/when you do walk through difficulty, don’t worry. Turn to the One who can handle it all. When you do, you’ll walk through the crisis in His perfect peace and come out stronger on the other side.