What if we found a guarantee for peace, especially as we head into the holidays?
God gave it. It’s called remembering and giving thanks. So basic, I know. Seems too easy. Shouldn’t real peace have more criteria? A higher bar?
Nope. God’s not like that.
Let’s be real. You don’t have time for long blog posts between now and the end of the year. So, the next few weeks, a few short ideas on how to “To call the past into the present, making it real here and now, and act upon it.” In other words, to remember. Remember what God has done, and thank him for it.
So, Part One.
Remember in Prayer
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. (Philippians 4.6)
If we studied the prayers i n the Bible, we would see a pattern. The Psalmists, the prophets, Paul, Jesus himself. They often begin with thanking God for what he has already done. The Psalmists make a regular job out of recounting how God has been busy. They go a little crazy—like, everything God has done, for a thousand years. They are overachievers.
Nevertheless, there’s a lesson here. How much time do we spend thanking God in prayer?
(How much time do we spend in prayer, period??)
Our church staff and board have a practice of telling our “God sightings” for the week when we meet. We talk about where we have seen God working in our lives that week—no matter how large or small. It serves to remind us. It also makes God’s work clearer to the others in the meeting. If we all have stories of God at work, we all encourage one another that it is happening. We are seeing. He is moving.
I used to take our girls on God sighting walks when they were little. We’d walk along a path, and I would ask them where they saw God. In the falling orange leaves? In the other little girls holding her mom’s hand tightly? In the squirrel’s quick ability to rustle up a tree? We looked for God at work.
When you look for him at work, you always find him. But you have to look.
Here’s the deal for this week. Set aside the first 3-5 minutes of your prayer time to remember. Ask God to bring to mind things he has done lately. Or a long time ago. it doesn’t matter. If you have the memory of a Psalmist, go for the long term.
If you’re worried about finances—thank God for that time you found $20 in a coat pocket just when you needed it. Tank him for that temp job that came up at just the right time. Praise him that you’ve never gone without food or home.
If you’re concerned about your kids, remember all the times one of them was kept from falling, or getting into an accident, or being injured in the soccer pileup. (Those soccer games man, they can be brutal.) Remember she got trough driver’s ed alive. And so did you. We know there are no guarantees when it comes to our kids. But remembering brings peace for whatever comes.
Anxious for sick parents? Tell God thank you for parents who raised you well and introduced you to Him. Praise him for their health thus far. Thank him for doctors and nurses and hospitals, all things we should not take for granted. Remember the times they have visited to be with your own kids and what that said about their hearts.
Take five minutes—five minutes of prayer to say thank you, God, for what you’ve done.
Tomorrow—set the alarm five minutes early, or et your phone to beep whenever you want to make the time in your day.
Pray. And Remember.
Next week: Remember with Rocks (Say what??)