Paul was an amazing example of surviving a busy life serving the Lord. He said, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:12). He learned how to manage his aggressive missionary journeys while being “anxious for nothing” (Phil 4:6) and enjoying “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7). How did he do it? My guess is that he practiced his own teachings to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4), and to “meditate on these things” (Phil 4:8).
We may not have to deal with being some days with plenty of food and necessary things, and some days having nothing to eat and none of our basic needs, as Paul was. Instead, what our life may consist of is days when our schedule is empty and days when our schedule is packed full, or, days when everything runs smoothly and days when we battle chaos, or, days when we are vital and energetic and days when we are sluggish and running on empty. How do we navigate through our most chaotic and disastrous days?
It is interesting, isn’t it, that the days when we most need to feed on scripture, are days when we are least likely to. When the earth beneath our feet is shaking and breaking apart, there may not be any place to escape and read God’s word. Those are the days when we must have hidden in our heart and mind the truths that guide us and nourish us. Here are a few:
Rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4) The peace of God … will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:7) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13) The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer (Psalm 18:2)
Some days seem like we are on an obstacle course. While we are trying to follow our hectic schedule we encounter rough roads, pits, walls, barriers, burned out bridges, and enemy fire. In one of my morning readings a reference sent me to Psalm 18. What a wonderful psalm. In it we are reminded of a powerful God who makes us powerful. “Who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, … He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze” (Psalm 18:31-34). As we face great hurdles in our challenging days, let us remember verse 29, “by my God I can leap over a wall.”