“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the God of peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t be anxious about anything? Anything…? Surely, Paul couldn’t have been speaking to parents in this day and age. Asking the parent of a teen to not be anxious about anything is almost like asking a sleepy baby not to close his eyes. Anxiety seems to come so naturally to us… will they drive safely, be considerate of adults, respectful of society and pass that test? Those are the “elementary” worries. What about anxiety over the friends they choose, whether or not they will try drugs, or choose to succumb to sexual temptation? Will they ever trust the integrity of an election or not have to wear a dadgum mask! And then we wonder if they will choose the right profession, at the right university and marry the right person. So very much to be anxious about, yet we have control over none of it.
BUT in every situation, through prayer with thanks giving, present your requests to God and the God of peace will guard your heart and mind…As I read this scripture anew tonight, what strikes me is the peace is not related to the answer of the Father…it happens when, through thanksgiving, we offer it to Him. Truly turning our anxiety over a situation into thankful realization that it is in His hands is like standing under a waterfall of His Peace. As that cleansing, refreshing water of His peace washes over us, it removes all fear and anxiety from our minds and disbelief and fear from our hearts.
There will certainly always be trouble, and if you are parenting teenagers, you may have more than your fair share of it. But peace is only a thankful prayer away…sounds too simple to be true, but spend a few well-deserved moments in that water fall of His peace and you’ll find it simple, yet powerfully, true.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praise-worthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
It’s a journey for sure, but your path is long and winding and the less weight we are carrying, the greater the joy in the travel. This time of high anxiety as a nation, as believers, raising teens will pass much faster than you think. Spend a little time thanking Him for the walk.