In the uncertainty and fear,
The panic and the path ahead unclear.
Breathe in for seven,
Breathe out for eleven.
It’s okay to be unsure and frightened.
Philippians 4.6 used to be my least favourite verse, it felt patronising, heaped shame upon pain.
But then I learned that anxiety isn’t a sin, it’s a way to keep us safe. This verse isn’t telling our bodies not the respond to danger, but telling our minds to rest in the midst of the panic. The JB Philips translation puts it like this:
“Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.”
It’s not a call to shame, but a reminder that all our fear and pain can be brought to Christ. Christ whose sweat was tinged with blood (an anxiety reaction), Christ who endured the worst so we may have hope. Our situations may not change – but let us breathe in the peace of God, the assurance of His mercy and care.
God’s peace is not incompatible with common sense – it’s at the heart of it.
Trust in the Lord and follow public health advice.
Take necessary precautions for yourself, the vulnerable and those you love.
Allow the unfailing peace of God to hold you and your fear. Let your worries turn to prayers and know that they are heard.