I just wanted to share a verse that has provided me with encouragement and continues to do so today. This verse is extra special to me and I will tell you why. When I arrived in Arizona as an 18 year old and arrived in my motel room, it was such a strange experience. This was the first time I had ever been away from my family knowing that it would be 4 months until I saw them again. The first time I had been overseas on my own. I had no idea what the days or the nights would look like from now on. I felt slightly small in this big, wide world. But after I had let the bag on my shoulders fall to the bed and I slumped down next to it, I began to cry. It was overwhelming. I was on my own. But then I looked up, and on my side-table there was a bible. I grabbed it because I knew from reading it before that it was the living Word of God. And it spoke to me that day. In that motel room. Thousands of miles away from home. And as I opened my bible, it went straight to the following verses:
Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
From that moment on, I had everything, even though a moment before it felt like I had nothing. God has me in the palm of his hand. These verses told me to always rejoice, to be gentle and to know that the Lord is near (even when everyone else felt so far away!) He tells me not to be anxious, but in all the situations I find myself in to pray and to make requests to God; these real heart-felt issues/thoughts etc. To be thankful. And to present it all to him. And rather than the Lord being a genie and suddenly *poof* everything magic’s itself better, he gives me peace. A peace that goes past any human sense or logic or reason or understanding. And that peace will be sustaining and my heart and my mind will be guarded by Jesus – a loving God that hears our prayers.
There are times when my requests are not answered in the way that my reasoning and logic would want. But I still have that peace that guards my heart and my mind. And above all else, I still have Christ. And he is all I need. He surpasses all understanding. He is good. And I will declare it through these verses and through my own experiences – now and always.