Wednesday, July 4, 2012

So, whatever is lovely?

"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. 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:6-8, 12-13)
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I think it's safe to say that we know how to be brought low. No matter what our age or what our physical condition, life is just plain hard, and our physical conditions do not help. So today I ask you, do you know how to abound?

Oh, that positive thinking they taught us at PRC. That silly action I thought was a waste of time when I first started that program. And to think St. Paul has been telling us to do the exact same thing for nearly two thousand years. I am going to be in pain for the rest of my life. I am missing out on so much, and I am upset about it. I'm sad, and I am angry. Those feelings can't be reasoned away: they are totally reasonable responses to a totally unreasonable situation. I am never not going to be sad about my condition. The trick is not to dwell on it.

Yeah, okay great. How? What's the "secret of facing abundance and need?"

On those “difficult days" when I can find fault with a bowl of chocolate ice cream and sprinkles, there is always JESUS. Whatever else is honorable, just, pure, and lovely that I can't see on those darkest of days, it does not compare to the fact that the Son of God loves me, and He died for me. A few minutes dwelling on that fact, and suddenly, the world that I hate so much, that world that hates me right back, that world God loved so much He sent His one and only Son, doesn't seem so bad anymore. After all, we have each other, don't we? Never let it be said that God doesn't toss His people life rafts in our stormy seas.

Repeat after me: “Yes, I am in pain, AND...” Fill in the blank with whatever is lovely, starting with "Jesus loves me."

Suggested verse to repeat when having a severe case of the dwells is Philippians 4:13
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
“I can do all things -------> 5 count inhale
through Him who strengthens me.” -------> 5 count exhale

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