Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”
When I began to pray about what I was going to share in this devotion my first thought was something completely different. I have been unemployed for a total of 8 months out of the last 2 years. In that time, my family and I saw God do many things. God reminded me of something that He had showed me many times over the last 2 years, the power of prayer. A verse that I read over and over was Philippians 4:6. This is a verse that we all know, and many have memorized, but I found that I understood it so much more in these recent trials.
I always thought that I was a patient person and I worried very little about how things were going to turn out. I found out I was not so patient and worried a whole lot more when I didn’t know how I was going to provide food and shelter for my family. I found myself being less thankful than I had always been, because of the trouble that I thought I was in and not seeing what God was doing. So, after being unemployed from August of 2015 to January of 2016, I thought I had this prayer and worry thing down. I was wrong, again. God turned up the heat for the next round and I hit my knees harder than I ever have this summer when I was unemployed for another 3 months. Through this I discovered what God really wanted for my life, as opposed to what I wanted, and it changed how I prayed for myself, my family, and for those in the church.
I had been praying for myself and others and repeating the words “God’s will,” but not really prepared for that to be anything other than the normal response. I prayed to go to help with relief work in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. I assumed that there was no way God would not send me to help people as I had done so many times. When I was still in Vegas at the end of September, I was a little baffled. As I continued to pray, I heard God say, “You need to be in Vegas right now.” I discussed with my wife what God had told me and that I needed to be here with my family and church. On October 1st, I realized why. My wife is a certified nursing assistant and in the days after the shooting experienced things she had never had before. I also started a new job on October 2nd where God opened many doors to share of His love as we watched events unfold. I wouldn’t have been here to be for my family, church, and to support the community had I done what I wanted and not listened closely to what God wanted me to do instead.
These last few months have shown me, yet again, what being anxious for nothing truly means and that I must always remain thankful for what God has given me.