Monday, May 1, 2017
Philippians 4:4-7 (HCSB) ~
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don't worry about anything but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I remember making cookies one day and as I put them on the pan, something seemed different. And when I took them out of the oven, they looked different. I bit into one and "YUCK!" I had forgotten to add the sugar and they tasted terrible.
I have been working on organizing a retreat the past few months, and as it drew closer to the weekend of the event, my prayer was that I would be peaceful. When I am in charge of something and have a lot of details to think about, I can tend to get so caught up in the planning that I forget that it's supposed to be about people.
So as I went into this past weekend, my prayer was that I wouldn't get uptight over the little glitches that may happen and would just enjoy myself. I also was praying that I would be gracious in my response to people. And as I prayed this, I can truly say it was a wonderful weekend. Things went smoothly for the most part, but more importantly, I was able to stay in the moment and focus on the different ladies who spoke with me, as well as take time to pray with different ones throughout the weekend.
As I read the above passage, the phrase "and be gracious" caught my attention. I looked up the following definition of gracious in terms of Christian belief. Gracious means to show divine grace and some synonyms of this are merciful, compassionate, kind, forgiving, lenient, clement, forbearing, humane, generous and tenderhearted.
I hope that I was gracious as I dealt with the ladies coming, the women I worked with as well as the hotel staff. It's not always easy, especially when under pressure, but my desire is to always represent Christ in my interactions with others.
Yet, if one of the items listed in this passage were missing, then I don't think the weekend would have been successful no matter how smoothly it seemed to go. As we rejoice in what the Lord is doing and give him the glory for that, as we remain gracious to those around us, and as we pray in thanksgiving that is when we will feel peaceful. Just as we need all of the ingredients when we bake cookies or the final product won't taste right, the same is true of our walk. All of these parts need to be present in order to feel God's peace.
So my busy weekend came to close and I spent most of the afternoon resting yesterday. I have some other things coming up, and again, want to remember these verses in Philippians as I move on to the next thing. I want to remember to add in all of my ingredients so that I can continue to experience the peace of Christ.