I was reading through the book of Philippians (a great book when you are lacking some joy and strength) and I looked a little deeper at the words in chapter 4 verses 6-7.
I know most of us have heard it a million times, but verse 6 says
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Then verse 7 says “and the peace of God which passes ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus“.
the word guard keep means
be a watcher in advance, that is, to mount guard as a sentinel (post spies at gates); figuratively to hem in, protect: – keep (with a garrison).
So, God is hemming in…protecting, guarding…wait for it….
BUTTTTTT….I looked up heart, and it means the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle: – (+ broken-) heart (-ed).
Did you get that??
Why am I so driven by my stupid feelings? I can either be a total go-getter, or a total lazy bum…same person, same circumstances, different feelings!
It’s so weird!!
But…God promises that He will hem me in, and then guard, or protect my feelings!!
Isn’t that what we need? For our stupid feelings to have a guard just standing there pushing away and fighting off all the sadness, worry, fear, doubt?
Anyone with me here???
Interestingly, I found this verse in the book of Psalms that uses that same word – hem.
God is laying His hand upon me.
Me. Little, old me.
That’s the kind of God I have.
I needed that mental picture today.
I am being hemmed in, and God is just putting his hand on me.
Directing me. Guiding me. Reassuring me. Protecting me.
God’s Word is so good. So relevant. So NEEDED!!
My prayer today is that we will let God be the guard of our hurting, needy hearts and minds.
I don’t think any one of us is in the place where we don’t have a hurting heart, in one way or another.
Maybe it’s not overtaking and consuming you today, but maybe it will be tomorrow.
Let’s hold on – till our knuckles are white – and never let go!
Do not give up.
God’s hand is on you. Keep holding on!!!