Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Lord is Near

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  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 will guard your heart and keep your mind in Christ Jesus. -Paul

Anxious, now there's a familiar word.  I don't know that all women have the corner on it- but I have often perfected, performed, and lived in it - or something akin to that.  I spend a good deal of my life being taught that God is in deed, trustworthy and He calls me to be  not anxious. I am thankful for  God's faithfulness and patience in this area with me, is long suffering and loving.  I am humbled when God's reminds me and shows me His grace and that I have grown.  I am reminded of this now because it is our crunch time of year, when many things start, finish, wrap up, and ramp up and on and on- it is also, a season that has often been accompanied by my being overwhelmed and anxious.  However, this year, I have felt God's hand of grace holding me, and the fretty-mess business is much diminished. Focusing on God  doing the holding changes my perspective.  It's like a Daddy holding onto a little crawler.  The crawler is holding on - but really, if Daddy lets go, the baby is going down.  But Our Father never lets go of us - even when we're a mess - holding on like it is all up to us.
In Philippians, Paul again and again calls us to joy. Paul may be martyred yet he encourages the believers to be joyful even in the face of uncertainty and in their significant struggles.
How is this possible?  He says - Rejoice in the Lord.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever  is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. 

What could be safer than abiding in the strong, just arms of a loving Father? He is the centerfuge of truth, goodness and beauty, therefore it is Him that we are to think on.

 AW Towzer in Knowledge of the Holy:

The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at the most cannot concern him for very long...The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him - and of her.

We do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past.

O God of Bethel, by whose hand 
Thy people still are fed
Who through this weary pilgrimage
Hast all our fathers led!

Our vows, our prayers we now present
Before Thy throne of grace:
God of our father! be the God
Of their succeeding race.
- Philip Doddridge

1 comment:

Diane said...

EJN - This is a such a good post because it speaks to the heart of most women I believe. I know it's been a battle in my life - but how wonderful it is when we have learned to "lean on the everlasting arms"

God bless you today sister!