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. – Philippians 4:6-7
Regular readers know I like to mix things up in this space. Devotional, commentary, inspiration, photography, humor, opinion, travel, family, food – sometimes a smattering of just about everything all in the same post.
It’s all poured through the filter of doing my best to offer a glimpse at life from the perspective of a follower of Jesus. At least that is my intention.
So today, having published a deeply serious post yesterday, I’m catching up with a few photographs that didn’t make it into the stories I shared over the weekend.
“Don’t let worry dominate your thoughts”
This post also fits very much with the scripture I have quoted at the beginning. “Don’t worry!” “Don’t be anxious!” It’s not only a key theme in the teachings of Jesus, and then Paul picks up the idea and runs with it throughout the Epistles.
To be honest the advice is a tall order. Really. It’s one thing for Jesus to say, “Worry dominates the thoughts of unbelievers,” but it is something else entirely to live as if the words God speaks are really true.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6
Which brings me back to the extra photographs from this weekend. There is a reason Jesus points to the children as examples. Look at them!
- Trotting down the path to their great-grandparents’ house to get in a quick hug and a game and a cookie.
- Twirling in the preacher’s chair at church while yelling, “We love you, mommy” into the camera!
- David leaning into his grandmama and loving her so much.
- Beks standing on my feet so she can be tall enough to reach the bathroom sink to brush her teeth!
- Playing checkers – kind of – outside the Cracker Barrel after lunch.
- Then a classic of our two from waaaaayyyy back – Andrew and Naomi – on Pensacola beach at a similar age (a reminder to both of you, ‘don’t lose that childlike wonder and trust’)
Don’t just smile at the photos of the children. Look at yourself and your concerns and worries and take a clue from Jesus and then repeated by Paul – put aside the anxiety. Instead, invest that effort in prayer.
But begin that prayer with gratitude, and love, and worship, and celebration.
Regardless, they are all worth a smile – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.