“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phil 4:6
The degree of severity of a given situation depends upon how we react to it. I have been startled by my wife’s overreaction to quite harmless situations many times when I drive and, I am afraid, the chance of me getting hurt in an actual wreck is probably far less than by her sudden screaming. I am not a good driver since I often get sidetracked by various things and my past driving record doesn’t seem to give my wife any assurance, yet her overreactions are often unwarranted and overblown.
“She was as calm as if she had been speaking about someone else’s illness,” Dr Keung, one of our church’s deacons, once said about a patient of his who had just found out that she had cancer. The lady wasn’t a Christian, yet the deadly disease didn’t seem to be all that threatening because of her even temperament.
“Most cancer patients are not killed by their disease; they are simply frightened to death,” a cancer specialist who survived the illness once stated. I guess there is some truth to his statement. Our physical issues may get a lot worse by our overreaction to them.
Of course I am not trying to deal with the issue I like to address the least. Our physical issues are included in the “every situation” Paul was talking about in his letter. Life presents us with challenges of many kinds, some more severe than others, and unless we react to them the right way our journey through this life will not be a pleasant one.
How do we handle difficult situations, then? Here is a perfect formula we can follow: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In this brief verse the apostle pointed out two things that we should do when adverse situations fall our way. One, there is no need for us to be anxious or frightened, since God is in control over all things and he can certainly resolve them for us. I guess my late father-in-law was right when he told us repeatedly that worry is a kind of sin, since it shows a lack of trust in God. Second, we should present our requests to God with petition and thanksgiving, which is the kind of prayer that is acceptable to God. We can be thankful, even though we may be afflicted by difficulty and hardship, knowing that nothing happens outside of our Father’s sovereign will. All will be well at the end, for we know God’s plan is not to harm us, but to ultimately prosper us and cause us to be more like Christ Jesus.
I guess I need to strive to become a better driver, but overreaction over a harmless situation on my wife’s part when I am behind the wheel is often uncalled for. Indeed we should all learn not to overreact in every situation, even when accidents actually take place.