Sunday, 10/8/17 – Have No Anxiety

It’s engraved on the front cover of my leather-bound prayer journal – Philippians 4:6. The journal is a gift I received from my wife, and the verse, one that I’ve focused my life upon in recent years. Both have helped me through tough times. And it just so happens to be the first verse of the second reading for today.

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

– Philippians 4:6 

Whenever I encounter tough times, whenever I’m tempted to sin, whenever I do sin, whenever I read about or watch the senseless events unfolding in the world every day – this verse is at the forefront of my mind.

Why?  Because the events of life, my own life and that of what goes on in society, have often brought about an anxiety, a worry within me. Because, like so many of you, I question why things happen, or ask God why I feel this way, or why certain people act the way they do. And so, when these things do happen, when I begin to feel that anxiousness in my chest, and feel it start to clench my mind and soul, when I begin to question, when I begin to doubt, when I begin to wonder why – I read this scripture. Not only this verse, but the ones that follow:

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

I think about the good things. I think about what and who I love, and where all that comes from – God. I think about His Son, about His Holy Spirit and how He is in the world, all around us, in the midst of all the turmoil, and it brings me peace. Not a peace in knowing why, but a peace in love, in hope, knowing that someday, somehow, it will be better. That Christ is there, beside me, beside all of us, looking to help us through.

Because if we don’t do this, if we don’t do what Paul writes of to the Philippians, if we don’t offer up our anxieties and worries to God in exchange for His peace, and we don’t think about all the good that He is in this world – then what is the alternative?

Well, we become the tenants in the vineyard today in the Gospel. We waste the opportunity we have been given. And we continue to be blind to God, to all that is good and beautiful before us in the midst of the pain, we dismiss Him, and we kill our relationship with God in the process. We don’t see Him for who He is, and we miss the very fact that Jesus is the foundation of all that is good and all that is love in the world. And even in the midst of evil and pain and tragedy, God is there with us, not sending the pain upon us, but simply there, to be a helping hand to get us through.  He wants us to turn to Him!

We will have tears and pain and sorrow. We will have uncertainty. But through all that, there is one thing that is certain, and that one thing is Christ. Through it all, He who is good and gracious and pure excellence – in everything in this world, whether it be sitting and adoring His Presence in Adoration, or simply enjoying a mountain vista, or embracing the peacefulness of a beach and the waves crashing on the shore – Christ is there in all the beauty. He’s there in the people you encounter, who you work with and who you help. And who help you. He is there in your families, the newborn baby, the kids playing games out in the yard, yelling, laughing, carefree.

These are the things that carry us through life. These are the things that are pure and good. This is God in the world today, as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever will be.

I challenge you – when you encounter anxiety and worry, when you encounter pain, don’t turn away from Him. Reach out to Christ even more, pray even more, offer it up to Him, be thankful for what you do have, turn towards Him even more. Think of all that is good, amidst the bad. And stick with it. Be persistent. Remember His Word. And keep going back to Him when you fall.

And then the God of Peace will be with you. Always.

About the Author

My name is Joe LaCombe, and I am a writer in Indianapolis, Indiana in the USA. My amazing wife Kristy and I have been married for 15 years and we have an awesome little boy, Joseph, who is in 1st Grade! We are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Carmel, Indiana where we volunteer with Adult Faith Formation, most recently with the marriage enrichment ministries. To see adults, and married couples embrace the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is a beautiful thing, and being able to tap into my experiences and bring the message of God to people through the written word is a passion of mine. I am an avid runner! I love to run and be out in the nature that God created, so you will find me running not only on sunny days, but rainy days, and even snow! I love to train for and compete in distance races, and find a deep spirituality in running, and I see distinct parallels between running and spirituality and life. I am excited and extremely blessed to be able to contribute to this website and look forward to sharing my thoughts and experiences!

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  1. This gospel reading is one of my “go-to” readings, especially at times like the last several weeks. You have amplified our Lord’s message with such a sense of conviction that
    I look forward with HOPE once again. Thank you for sharing your gift.

  2. Excellent reflection Joe: For me perseverance in these matters is lacking as daily woes and distractions lead my mind away from what’s important. Now it’s easy to remember to turn over pain, worry and anxiety to God for Him to help us with, as He will. It’s the keep on doing what is true, honorable, just, lovely, pure, gracious, any excellence and anything praise worthy and then the God of peace will be with you. Yeah not only is this hard to remember it’s even harder to keep in mind and do. Hey some of them are give me’s ok but I think most all will witness life has it’s curve balls. I hear practice make’s perfect. God bless all.

  3. Am grateful of how much have been inspired by this reflection. My relationship with God is now getting is also boosting my misson “to know him and make him known”

  4. Phil. 4:6
    This was all I needed to pull through these tough times. Thanks for the awesome message. God bless you richly

  5. This reading is especially striking for me at this point in my journey in Christ. Thanks for sharing. God bless!

  6. Joe, your reflections are always spiritually enriching. May we always remember to cling on to our Lord Jesus Christ in times of crisis as you do. You are a model of Christ’ instrument in my life, surely so with other readers, l may think.

  7. Thanks joe, for this wonderful reflection, let us also ask our Lady of perpetual help to walk with us towards Jesus especially this month of the holy rosary , she will surely get us to her son.

  8. Thanks Joe for this beautiful reflection. I am feeling so happy this morning after reading this reflection. May God bless you and your family.

  9. Thanks Joe for sharing God’s gift with us. Especially your challenge to us about praying to God harder even when we think we are in a mess and so unworthy before God

    May God bless you

  10. Thank you Joe for giving an anwer to my question all the time – Why do people do such things ? Why does it happen that way ? Why ? Why ?? & Why ???. It bothered me so much and made me sad. Now I will offer everything to God and do what I can to help. I love your writing and what you write, most importantly. May God bless you richly.

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