The Lord Is at Hand
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Paul writes, "The Lord is at hand." I used to imagine what it would be like to have Jesus at hand as the disciples did, so obviously there to be seen and heard and touched. It seemed to me it would be hard to be afraid; after all, there He is, with all His power and compassion and wisdom. What if I got sick? I could ask Him for healing. What if I died? No matter, it would be temporary. As soon as Jesus had a moment, He could reach over and raise me from the dead, no problem! It felt like freedom, to have Jesus close at hand.
And Paul reminds us that we are actually in that situation every day, right now. True, we don't have the advantage of being able to see Him or hear His voice with our ears, but the Lord is at hand, right now, no matter what is happening. Therefore Paul says, "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 your minds in Christ Jesus."
It's a good thing to practice.
I know that for me, it really makes a difference when I remember to hand over the things I worry about to Jesus as soon as they come to mind. Kind of like saying, "Here, Lord, would you please deal with this? Because I just can't." He knows that I can't, and He is ready to take those things and give me help and peace.
This is not an easy thing to write, or to do, in this time of pandemic. I am shut up at home right now as I write this, and I'm getting extra practice on taking my anxiety to the Lord. May the Lord bless you in your time of trouble, and make you strong in His love. He who suffered and died for you, who rose from the dead to give you life eternal—He will never leave you, and He will never forsake you. God keep you all.
Lord, when I am anxious, help me to depend on You. Amen.
Dr. Kari Vo
1. When you worry, what kinds of things do you do for comfort?Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
2. If you could see Jesus visibly right now, what would you ask Him?
3. How can you form a habit of taking your anxieties to the Lord in prayer?
I used to imagine what it would be like to have Jesus at hand as the disciples did, so obviously there to be seen and heard and touched.