Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
— Philippians 4:9
Many years ago I read an incredible book called Hey God by Frank Foglio. The back cover gives this description: “Mama Foglio, her cantankerous husband, and ten rambunctious kids were poor. In fact, they were so poor that the poor people called them poor. Then one day the Lord burst into their lives, in the form of another, equally poor, equally large and tumultuous Italian–American family that stormed into their home and evangelized them mano a mano.” The book shows how Mama Foglio began to understand the riches of her spiritual Father and to rely on them. It is a powerful witness of what happens when we hand our anxiety over to God and begin to pray.
There are times when anxiety or fear can be paralyzing, and even though we know that to be true, we still go down that path. I love it that Paul, from a prison cell, reminds us to stay focused on the Lord and “rejoice always.” He reminds us that conversation with God is important. He reminds us that we are a witness to others when we learn to lean on God rather than our anxieties. He also reminds us to remind ourselves of what is true: God’s provision is always ours.
As we change our thinking, we remember that through Jesus we have full access to the Father, who hears all our requests and gives us all that we need. And we inherit his peace, which “transcends all understanding.”
Lord, we rejoice that you are always with us. Thank you for peace and for all the riches you give us. Amen.