Close and latch the gate
Well, 2015 is behind us and we’ll never pass that way again. The first thing I learned when moving to Texas was, “If the gate is open, leave it open. If the gate is closed, close it behind you.” If it is in any way possible, it’s time to close and latch the gate on whatever negative menial trash that might have been in your life last year. Don’t let it get out and into the New Year to spoil it. 2016 is the beginning of a new adventure since we’ve never been this way before. Life’s experiences should take center stage in a positive way, not to worry over or be troublesome. Mistakes are something we don’t have to beat ourselves up for the rest of our life. Let it go, stand up proud, and move on.
I came across some old church bulletins the other day and I so enjoy the thoughts of those who have now gone on to be with the Lord. I especially take comfort in the fact they were not so different than I am today. I would like to share an article printed on March 9, 1975, no author found, most fitting and appropriate for our thoughts today.
“Freedom From Care: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:4-7). The words of this command are neither hard nor exacting, but come to us as if the Father had put his loving arm about us and pulled us up close to him and bidden us, like little children, to forget our cares and leave everything to him as he tries to help us worrying pilgrims along. They are precious and comforting words, but hard to obey. Yet those few who we have known, who walked by this rule, always appear to be happy.
‘Do not be anxious’; it seems to be impossible! The text does not mean that we are not to be industrious and forethoughtful. This same apostle also said, “... If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The thing He seeks to deliver man from is the worry and over-solicitude of world affairs with which they struggle, trying to be their own providence, wearing themselves out in anxieties of future events which they cannot remedy or control, if indeed they are ever to happen. “... present your requests to God.” He did not create this world and all things therein and go far away and forsake it until time shall be no more, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer” (Psalm 34:12-16; 1 Peter 3:12), and as surely as there is a God in heaven, he wants his children to be happy, untroubled, and unafraid.
Sometimes we would give everything to attain this ideal. Perhaps it is not so difficult if we would really try. The great essential is a real trusting faith in God. The avenue is through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Prayer is the great lever of spiritual life, the lung by which it breathes. If we pray with thankful hearts, half of our troubles will disappear. He has not promised us miracles nor that every request shall be granted, but his loving watch care and “... the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” and “... my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
Many are the hearts that have found this peace by faith and obedience to His holy will. Many are the hearts that are weary this day, when in his blessed kingdom they might have rest” (Psalm 62). I pray your year be blessed above all in Christ Jesus.”
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at email@example.com. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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