I’m only going to comment on one of our Sunday services this week and that’s for very simple reasons. The first reason is that I wasn’t there, that wouldn’t normally be a problem because I would listen to the podcast afterwards. That leads us on to the second reason, there were some technical problems in recording the podcast for the evening service so I can’t listen to it. So, sorry about that.
The evening service would have been an interesting listen too, it was, from what I understand, more of a discussion between Andrew Gardner and Chris Drury on questions sent in by people via SMS text message. I always like to see a bit of innovation.
I can, however, comment on the morning service. This week Andrew Gardner looked into the encouraging words of Philippians 4.
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, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Every time I read this passage the words that speaks to me are “do not be anxious about anything”. I am, by nature, a busy worrier and God has spoken to me about it many many times.
Every time I feel myself getting over-busy or over-anxious (the two things often go together) I remind myself of some things.
I help to lead a programme called Celebrate Recovery and one of the things that we say there is that worry is form of not trusting God enough. If we trusted God enough we wouldn’t be anxious, so we need to trust.
A few years back I read a great book by Bill Hybels called Too Busy Not to Pray, the title of the book comes back to me over-and-over again. Trying to do life in my own strength will only result in more frustration, more busyness and more anxiety.
Sometimes I also remember the words of the poem that Andrew mentioned (once he had remembered it):
Said the robin to the sparrow,
“I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”
Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.”
I’ve recently had conversations with people that have gone along the lines “how come you’ve got it all together”, the simple answer is that I haven’t and I still need reminding, as Andrew put it, to:
- Stop, don’t keep going make space to pray
- Tell God everything – what is happening, what you feel.
- Thanks God for provision, grace, strength and possibilities
- Ask God to change things but…
- Trust His will, His wisdom, His ways.
We do have a Heavenly Father and He does care for us in abundant love grace and patience.
- At the end of the service on of our number felt that God wanted them to share these words:
This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."