The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4. 4-7
I work in financial services. Setting off for work since the lockdown started, the continuing battle has been to cope with fear and anxiety from investors and colleagues. Fear of the unknown, of losing their jobs, of losing their savings and yes fear for their health. Of course, I also worry about the virus not just for my family here but also my mum in India. This will be a common experience for us all and even greater for those with front-line workers. Underlying all of this is the anxiety that has bubbled to the surface. It is this anxiety that Paul refers to and how we can deal with it.
I can luckily bounce my worries off Ranmi. But we also devote time to reading God’s words, reflecting on them and praying. Recently reading Paul’s Letters I was drawn to these verses from Philippians.
I am acutely aware that the only way I have sailed through the lockdown is due to God’s presence just as Paul wrote. I have happily shared my overwhelming sense that I was carried on the shoulders of Jesus at the start. On saying that to clients, there was such a positive response. God has palpably been with me and listening to stories from health workers from around the world, so many have also felt that same presence.
Paul also impresses upon the Philippians to respond to anxiety through prayer, petition and thanksgiving just as Jesus did during his periods of anxiety. Prayer is our personal talk with God. He will listen, he may not directly intervene, but he will lessen our burden and we will feel emboldened.
I also enjoy listening to Hillsong Worship on the way to and on the way back from work. Recently, I have focussed on their song “I Surrender” which starts with “Here I am Down on my knees again Surrendering All Surrendering All. Find me here Lord as You Draw me near”. You can listen to it here.
Dear Lord, as we all face anxious times we know that you are with us. You are here helping those who are suffering and those who have lost their lives. You are driving us all on to put others ahead of ourselves and to keep you in front of all of us. Together we are strong, on our own we are weak. We pray that you remain close to us.
We pray that we are all able to raise our concerns, our fears and our hopes to Jesus and that he would draw those who don’t know him to feel and know his love.