Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Cecil F. Alexander tells a story how she used this verse for comfort:
I have been living in a retirement community for the past eighteen months. During this time, I have become acutely aware that there are people whose needs are not always met. I would rationalize and think, What is that to me? However, I began taking several individuals' needs to the Lord in prayer.
Over the past several months, I have often sat in the lobby after meals. One night, I looked to see if I could be of help to either a resident or staff member. During this time, there was a distraught younger woman at the desk, expressing a concern about a family member. I recognized the woman. However, being very tired, I decided to go to my room. But the Holy Spirit had other plans for me.
Before I could leave the lobby to go to my room, my feet took me to the resident's room. There was the distraught woman, the resident's daughter. She greeted me at the door and almost pushed me into the room, saying, "Why don't you come in and visit awhile?" So I did. The daughter left for the evening. The resident was in her bed. I sat down and talked with her. She was anxious because she was afraid she wouldn't be able to sleep. I recited this Scripture to her:
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 transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
I explained that we are not to be anxious, but by prayer, we can experience a peace that we cannot understand. I told her how God's peace has come over me when I have been in the same situation. I reassured her that God has asked us to "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7 NIV) Then I began singing some of the old gospel hymns, to which she would join in, as she remembered them. She said she thought that God had sent me to her room. He sure did! Before I left, I asked her if I could pray for her, and she agreed.
I was glad that God gave me this opportunity and that I acted upon it. I praise Him for bringing to remembrance the Scriptures and words to the hymns that I sang. I am thankful that I could sing them. My voice was crackly and weak, but God used this encounter for His glory.
There are times when we sense the guidance of the Holy Spirit asking us to follow His leading. Are we willing to follow His lead?
Dear Lord, help us to recognize Your leading and to be willing to follow through and do Your will. Help us to overcome our timidity, and give us opportunities today to be Your helpers in assisting others in their time of need. In Jesus' name, Amen.