One of my sixteen-year-old sons and I were driving the other day and he began to share his heart. He could not define what he was feeling. He said with all that is going on in the world he was just confused and did not know what to feel. I suggested the word, “numb”. That hit the mark.
Maybe some of you feel that way too. Or maybe you feel angry, fearful, and overwhelmed. Well, as we were talking this Scripture came to mind:
“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 NLT
I had him read it, then I said, “Let’s practice it together right now”.
So, he began to thank God. I said, “Stop. That is not where it says to start. That’s towards the end.”
There is a pathway to peace in this passage that has three steps.
It begins with “Don’t worry about anything”, but that’s not possible until you practice the next three steps. What are they?
1. Be honest.
Tell God EXACTLY how you feel. This is one of the reasons King David was one of God’s favorites. He was brutally honest with God. I told my son, “Just tell him exactly what you are feeling.” He said, “I don’t know what I feel.” I said, “Okay then, tell him that.” He was still stuck so I said, “I’ll go first.”
I began telling God that I am angry that people are burning down our cities and trying to destroy our country. I then took the second step on the pathway to peace.
2. Tell Him what you need.
I told Him that I needed Him to act! That He needed to stop the people wrecking our country.
I then took the final step.
3. Thank Him for what He has done.
I then began to thank Him for how He has blessed our country.
I began to feel a measure of peace by just unloading the burden that was locked up in my soul.
I then told him it was his turn. This time he got much more honest. It was so medicinal for him.
We took turns following the pathway, praying about very specific things, being brutally honest. Not only did it bring the peace that was promised for both of us, it opened up a wonderful dialogue between my son and I. Honesty always does that, which is why that’s where God wants you to start.
I encourage you to practice the pathway to peace. And let me know how it goes.