“We can calmly take our concerns to God because he is as near as our next breath.”- Max Lucado
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”- Psalm 118:6 (NIV)
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 5 of Anxious for Nothing as he reinforces Paul’s point in Philippians 4:5-6. Because the Lord is near, we need be anxious for nothing. Also, Pastor Lucado reminds us, Paul wrote Philippians as a letter. And letters don’t contain chapter and verse numbers. Therefore, Paul intended that we read this passage in one fell swoop. As Max points out, two early commentators saw this:
- John Chrysostom: “The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety.”
- Theodoret of Cyrus: “The Lord is near. Have no worries.”
In addition, Pastor Lucado believes, we learn this reassuring lesson from the miracle of the bread and fish. While Jesus desired to feed the entire crow, the disciples wanted to get rid of everyone. In fact, Max detects anxiety, aggravation, and frustration in their response to Jesus. The disciples don’t call Him “Master” or offer a suggestion. Rather, they approach Jesus en masse and tell Him what to do.
Although the disciples felt unsettled, they had every reason to be at peace. For they witnessed Jesus perform many miracles. Yet, they failed to pause long enough to think or to ask Jesus for help.
So, on the one hand, a problem exists in your life. On the other hand, you possess a limited quantity of wisdom, energy, patience, or time- nowhere near what you need. As a result, Max exhorts:
“This time, instead of starting with what you have, start with Jesus. Start with his wealth, his resources, and his strength. Before you open the ledger, open your heart. . . . count the number of times Jesus has helped you face the impossible. Before you lash out in fear, look up in faith. Take a moment. Turn to your Father for help.”
Today’s question: What makes you aware that God’s as near as your next breath? Please share.
Coming Monday: the Easter Short Meditation, “The loudest voice in your life”
Tomorrow’s blog: “A child of the King – the front of the line”