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Most days I carry a Bible verse in my pocket. The Scripture varies with the day and situations or problems expected. If I’m going into battle — and life IS a battle — I surely don’t want to go into it unarmed. Ephesians 6:17 reminds me to take my “Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Hebrews 4:12 reveals it is sharper than a two-edged sword, and a two-edged sword is mighty sharp! This week, I toted Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

There were some things I was trying NOT to be anxious about so I took the verses out a few times each day to read. (The paper is worn and wrinkled now.)

I usually skip from the “Do not be anxious” straight to the “but present your requests to God”.

This week, though, as I read the Scriptures I had scribbled on a half sheet of paper, I realized there were two crucial words I often skimmed over: “with thanksgiving.” Maybe it was the approaching holiday, maybe I was just being still for once. Those two words changed the whole thing!

Philippians 4:6-7 is a process. As I’m not being anxious but praying — AND THANKING in advance — as I make my requests to God. THEN, the peace of God, which passes all understanding (favorite part) will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus!

I usually just blurt out one request after another like a stomach virus — with desperation instead of thanksgiving.

God is worthy of my thanks every day; not just one Thursday a year.

What can I be thankful for while I’m trying not to be anxious?

  • I am thankful I have a Heavenly Father who sees me right in the middle of my crisis.
  • I am thankful that He hears me. There’s nothing too small for me to take to Him. If it’s big enough to worry about, it’s big enough to pray about.
  • I am thankful that He is with me through His Holy Spirit that dwells in me.
  • I am thankful that He loves me unconditionally. (This is where my eyes fill with tears.) He loves me no matter if I screw up this situation or this day or this year. He will keep loving me!

Knowing all this, I can NOT be anxious about anything. Knowing all this, I can present my requests before Him.

And that’s when the switch is flipped — when the change happens. That’s when I have the peace that passes (transcends) all understanding.

Before the answer has come. Before the strength has come. Before the intervention has come … I can be thankful.

I sit up a little straighter. The God of Abraham, the God of Hannah, the God of David, the God of Mary is also the God of ME!

With thanksgiving. Two words can make a big difference.

Dawn Reed writes a weekly column for HD Media. She can be contacted at preacherswife7@yahoo.com.

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