Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God Philippians 4:6
Am I anxious about tomorrow’s decision or resting in whatever comes? A
m I worried about fixing things in the house (Like the furnace that failed before Christmas), or am I trusting that God knows everything we need? Am I happy with my small ministry in the church or am I constantly pushing for a more prominent position? These are where mental battle lines are drawn each week for many of us. Interestingly, Paul wrote these words from a Roman prison cell where he also observed that whether he lived or died he was content in Christ.
One famous ballet dancer shared in a New York Times magazine interview, that he never felt more empty than when he had finished a perfect performance and heard the sound of applause filling the air.. Recently, one man was arrested with 21 million dollars in cash under his mattress, and another sits in jail to conceal the knowledge of a treasure ship filled with gold. They have each traded their health, their freedom and their years for one moment of riches. In contrast, I will always remember a village at the center of a tea plantation in north India. I sat on the ground with small children who happily ate their rice, dahl and chicken with curry. There were no tears, complaining or pushing and shoving to be seen that afternoon. Gentle shy smiles peeked up at me as my own tears flowed down my face.
Where is that kind of peace and contentment here in America or in my own life today? We seem to complain deeply over the loss of small things and fight bitterly for control of passing power,position or possessions. But when we pray and release everything to God, the greatest treasure sits waiting to be discovered! What could be of more value than His peace?
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.! Philippians 4:7
And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word …Matthew 15:22-23a
Did it ever feel like God wasn’t paying any attention to your or your needs? That is undoubtedly exactly the feeling that this woman experienced. She cried. She begged. She fell to His feet. Nothing she could do or say seemed to touch the Lord. Her story reminded me of the Bangladeshi people who came to work the gravel of the dry river banks in North India. They were rejected by most of the local people and forced to take the lowest and most menial jobs. Yet Jesus made His only trip abroad and in retrospect came only for this one woman as an answer to her prayers.
So when it seems as if Jesus is not listening and when no one else seems to believe that we will find the answer, we have a decision to make. Will we continue to believe or will we go away? Will we continue to ask or will we give up in desperation? For all of us there comes that single moment when we have to decide what to do with silence. This woman who appeared to have no background, no friends and no hope leaves us with a testimony of hope, not only that God is listening but that He cares enough to hear and answer our prayer! It is if you could think that Jesus made the trip to earth, just for you!
Our Pastor recently returned from another missions trip to the northern border region of India. I was so privileged to go a few years ago but on this time around could only support in prayer. These children are in truth the greatest riches of India and greatly valued by God. When we go in the love of Christ to serve we will discover how precious it is to be a small part of God’s big family!