“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.” – Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Here in Colorado, it’s May and it’s still snowing. In fact, it’s been the snowiest month of the winter. (Check on your Colorado friends. We are not okay.) The transition that happens between late April and early May is pretty disorienting. We go from having regular time on the hill and studying the bible with friends to the resort closing, seasonal friends leaving for their next job, and our regular bible study stopping. Overnight, everything is different. Summit County becomes a ghost town, and suddenly…we’re alone with our thoughts and nothing to do.
Back in March, I started trying to read the bible every night before bed. I was reading through Philippians, and when I finished the letter early-April, I just couldn’t turn past Philippians 4. Highlighted on the page from years ago in college, my eyes were drawn every night to these familiar verses. “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 minds in Christ Jesus.” Every night as I opened my bible and stared at those words, I felt my heart being reminded. It felt fresh, over and over again.
“Whatever is on your mind, bring it to me. Whatever requests you have, bring them to me. You don’t have to solve them or avoid them, just present them to me. And my peace will guard your heart and your mind.“
The benefit of reading one passage over and over again is that eventually, over time, the truth of it really starts to stick in your mind. If I’m being honest, in this transitional season I’ve found myself being drawn to literally everything but what’s going to bring me peace. I want to shop. I want to watch netflix. I want to be busy, busy, busy. I want to order pizza instead of cooking myself a meal. I want to give into feelings of disappointment or bitterness. The pull toward these things has been STRONG.
Against everything in me, I sat down to read scripture and pray a few weeks ago. The benefit of starting a habit in a mountaintop season is that God uses it to carry you through the valley seasons. I started just by thanking God for the ways he’s been providing in this time and after a few minutes I started praying the real real things weighing on my heart. When I was done? Whew…peace. The truths in Philippians 4 were a reality to my heart. I felt guarded by God’s peace that no matter how lonely and snowy and ghost-towny this weird transitional time gets, my heart will be guarded from the pull toward laziness and apathy as I stay connected to the Lord.
God really is kinder than I make Him out to be. He cares for us. He cares for the heavy thoughts weighing us down, and promises to bring us peace as we bring them to him.
If you’re in a mountaintop season, what habits can you put in place now to stay connected to the Lord?
What things do you run to when you’re overwhelmed or feeling down? What do you believe they’ll bring you?
Take some time this week to read Philippians 4, then take a few minutes to pray and give God what’s weighing on you.
By Alie Heenan | Colorado USA