It was the strangest thing, our neighbor coming to my friend’s house telling me I needed to go home. I entered, somewhat concerned, wondering if or why I was in trouble.
“I need to tell you something. We lost your brother today,” my father said.
“Oh, no, Dad. He told me when he left for school this morning that track practice was starting today. He asked me to tell you he would be late coming home.”
My father looked me in the eyes and said, “Honey, you don’t understand, Doug died today.”
Instantly, I felt as if I would crumble to the floor as the news set in. How could this be? At my tender age of thirteen, I could not wrap my mind around the news.
Throughout my life, I’ve found myself continuously playing scenarios over in my head. What if this happens? What if I lose my parents? What if something happens to my sister? What if I die young? What if, what if, what if? I thought if I played the scene in my mind I would be prepared for any hurt or worry. As I matured, I found the words in Philippians better prepare me. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God?s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.When I find myself beginning to worry, I try to turn first to prayer instead of planning and preparing myself.
As children of God, there is much we don’t understand. It is a mystery much of the time believing and trusting without seeing. Through our blind faith, Paul tells us not to worry but instead to turn our worries into prayers, and God’s peace will see us through. We, of course, are all going to worry; it is our human nature. However, if our first reaction is prayer, we relinquish control of the situation, allowing God to work in us, comfort us, and guard our hearts. In prayer, God also helps us recognize blessings found in any situation. I’m blessed with the memories I have of my brother.
No one knows what life experiences we will be asked to go through. We may find ourselves worrying or upset about our families, our finances, our relationships, and, yes, even the death of a loved one. It is a challenge placed before each of us to react first to any worry or concern by turning to God in prayer. Don’t let the what if come first.
(Photo courtesy of micrsoft office.)
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