My Memory Moleskine: Do Not Be Anxious

Memory Moleskine - Image by Tim Brister

There’s a little under a month left until Easter Sunday. If you’ve been participating in Partnering to Remember, that means we’re coming into the home stretch. As you may recall from past updates, I’ve found myself a couple of weeks ahead on memorizing Philippians, but lately I’ve noticed that I’m having a much harder time focusing on it. I think I have 15 or 16 verses left, but for whatever reason they just aren’t sticking.

Maybe there’s a lot going on right now (which there is). And maybe I’m also being a bit too slack in my discipline (which I am). It’s funny though, I found myself starting to get a bit anxious about it a few days ago.

While working on Phil 4:10-13.

Yeah, I’m ridiculous.

So it’s probably a good thing that I’ve been continually coming back to Phil. 4:6-7

…do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

(Confession: Every time I read or speak Philippians 4:6-7, my mind immediately goes to the song that is on the Rizers album. Abigail still adores that record.)

While these verses speak to issues much larger than my tiny, silly anxieties (read: pride issues), it is an excellent reminder that at the heart of anxiety and worry is a lack of trust in and thankfulness to God. Jesus made this point well in Matt. 6:25-34, when he repeatedly points to the birds in the air and the lilies in the valley and says,

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

It’s important to remember, but oh so easy to forget, that we always have two choices in all things: We can live by faith—that is, live with confidence that God will always do what He promises—and be free to pursue His purposes in this life, or we can spend our time worrying ourselves into a tizzy.

I’d much rather do the former than the latter. How about you?

  • Jeff Kendrick

    Aaron,

    Great reminder to trust God in all things… How often do we take for granted things like food, clothing and shelter… We need to be reminded, as you did today, to trust God for ALL things!!

    I’m with you, I’d much rather trust God so that I can be free to peruse His purposes!!

    Blessings,

    Jeff Kendrick

  • Matthew W

    Just to give you a li8ttle affirmation, I say this. When you started this memorization journey, it made me realize how undisciplined I have been in memorizing Scripture. I’ve gone through phases over these two months of memorizing and not, but I’ve worked out a system of disciplined memorization that is helping me tremendously (both the system and the memorization itself). I’ve decided to memorize two sets at once: a long passage, and a short passage. I was just doing the long passage and the lack of headway made me extremely discouraged. The combination keeps me encouraged and ennervated. (Not sure if that was a word… I think I got it from Harry Potter. O_o ). Anyway, my long passage is Romans 5-8. I’ve got about 2/3 of ch. 5 done, and I have portions of 6 and 8 done from previous memorization stuff (about a year ago). My short passage is Psalm 103. This discipline and this system has already had a powerful impact on my walk and my sanctification, and I just moved from long to long+short about four days ago. And you, my friend, were the catalyst for it.

    In other notes, Phil. 4:4-7 has a special place in my heart. It’s the scripture that God brought me upon to break my 16-month long depression last August. To add to what you said, I love how not being anxious is rooted in prayer; and the peace is rooted in the prayer (v. 6?) /and/ the rejoicing (v. 4). It’s SUCH good stuff!

    God bless!
    –Matthew