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. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
While, knowing about and even praying the words of this verse over the years, my actual practice has sometimes been the exact opposite. Though on the outside, I was able to pretend I was not worried, instead my life operated more as if the Bible said:
“Worry about everything, don’t pray about your problems or be grateful to God for the things that have gone right. Instead waste all your time complaining, when you don’t understand what is going on.”
Years ago, our car broke down on the highway outside of Boston on a Friday afternoon. Before cell phones, our only hope was for a police officer to stop and call for help. I had no idea what was wrong with our car, so I paced up and down as traffic whizzed by, complaining loudly to my wife. Patiently Nancy kept calmly saying, “God is going to work this out.” I wanted to believe it, but it felt like I had a pot boiling on the inside. Finally, a patrol car stopped and called for a tow truck which came and hooked up to our car. The muffler on that truck sounded like a jet taking off and our driver cursed loudly and often at the other drivers as he weaved through traffic. Fifteen minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot of a large repair facility and my wife suddenly smiled and said, “Look! We’ve definitely come to the right place!”
“What do you mean?” I asked as our car was being unhooked.
“See the sign!” Nancy said pointing. That was when I looked up and saw that just underneath the name of the garage were the words, “Smile God loves you!”
Our car was repaired in under two hours, the owner even bought us dinner and we arrived at our destination, just a little later than we had expected. All that was great, but even better was how God showed me His peace in ways I could never understand. Now when I find myself broken down on the side of the road, God reminds me of that time and how He will still guard my heart and mind, even while I am getting towed through traffic!