Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
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The first time I was laid off was just a year after moving my family - including 1-year old triplets and a German nanny - across the country. I had no network, no contacts and no safety-net. Then I was diagnosed with diabetes, then September 11 occurred and any hope of a market recovery evaporated. I was in a free-fall. I had never been laid off before, always thinking I was the kind of guy that you would want to keep around if layoffs were ever necessary. I had been worried for some time that the company I worked for was full of crooks and that it was only a matter of time until they took the company down with them. Now my worst fears were coming true and I feared for my young family. I was afraid and terribly anxious about our situation.
But then something wonderful happened. In addition to seeking work, I began to attend a Men-of-Grace networking group and was comforted by others in my situation who shared verses with me like Philippians 4:4. In time, I learned that I could have faith that this was not a punishment but rather an opportunity to go deeper into my faith and that it would all work out for the best. This was not an easy concept to accept at the time. I was in new territory, scared, and a little angry. But soon my wife was hired to work and I was blessed with a precious period of time to be with my young girls, helping them to develop and watching them learn and grow. In time, I found work and went on with my career (this is the eventual outcome 99% of the time).
When the economy slowed and I was laid off a second time with another company that didn't do well, I bypassed the fear and the anxiety and spent my time out of work donating my skills to help run a “40 Days of Purpose” campaign at the church. I didn't worry but instead leaned on my faith that God would provide. And He did again, lifting me in my career and rewarding me for my faith.
Often we find ourselves in unknown or uncomfortable circumstances. It's never pleasant (unless you get a “high” off of adrenaline), but in time you find your comfort zone is bigger and God's love and protection is even bigger. Are you worried about something or many things today? What could happen if you prayed about it? What if you shared that weight with Jesus? Why not give prayer a chance?
Lord, I rest in these truths today: “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious in 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.” Lord, thank You for always being my rock, and always caring for me deeply. Amen
By: Brendan Shea