Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Secret of Peace

Today's chapter in "The Home Beautiful" by J.R. Miller was about worrying. I'm sure everyone has at least one area of their life where they can see a tendency to worry. I personally have several, so Miller's words were a good reminder to me today.

When you are inclined to worry -- don't do it. That is the first thing. No matter how much reason there seems to be for worrying, don't worry. ... A good bit of homely, practical, commonsense wisdom says there are two classes of things we should not worry about -- things we can help, and things we cannot help. ... Things we can make better we should make better, and not fret about them; and things we cannot help or change we should accept as God's will for us, and make no complaint about them.

Miller goes on to point out that, as Christians, we may go a step farther because we have a loving Father taking care of us and the things we cannot help or change are all in His hand. What's more, we are told that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28-29). So what are we to do? As Paul teaches in Philippians 4:6-7, we are to pray with thanksgiving to God. Miller goes on to say this:

Peter's counsel is similar, though more condensed: "Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). God is taking care of you, not overlooking the smallest thing, and you have but to cast all your anxiety upon Him and then be at peace. It is trying to carry our own cares that produces worry; our duty is to cast them all upon Christ, giving ourselves thought only about our duty. This is the secret of peace.

What a comfort! Finally, Miller says that another way we may find relief is in loving service to others. As we channel our energy into helping others, we soon forget our own troubles. Thus we find blessings for ourselves and become blessings to the world by giving helpful service instead of discontent and complaining.

If a bird has to be in a cage, it is better to be a canary to fill its place of imprisonment with happy song than to be a starling to sit dumb within the wire walls in inconsolable distress. If we must have cares and trials, it is better that we should be rejoicing Christians, brightening the very darkness of our environment with the bright light of Christian faith, than that we should succumb to our troubles and get nothing but worry out of our life, and give nothing to the world but murmurings and the memory of our miserable discontent.

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