Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Columnists

February 13, 2013

Keith Wishum: Living a life of peace without limits

AMERICUS — Comedian Steven Wright said, "When I turned two, I was really anxious, because I'd doubled my age in a year. I thought, ‘if this keeps up, by the time I'm six I'll be 90.’"

That may seem silly, but what about whatever you worry about? Notice that I am assuming that you do worry. In fact, I’m almost certain.

When you see Jesus’ words “Do not worry”, what do you think? Come on, be completely honest, there is nobody listening to your thoughts but you and God and he already knows. Is your reaction something like, “Yeah, right! Like that’s ever gonna happen”?

We know we shouldn’t worry. And, we wish that we worried less, but we think we can’t help it. Everybody worries. We accept that we will. That’s just part of life, right?

What if it doesn’t have to be? What if it’s possible to live a life of peace without limits?

The main event of the Old Testament was God leading his people to a land where he wanted them to live long and prosper. The central promise of Jesus and the New Testament is that he came so we “may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10: 10). “Everything is possible for him who believes,” Jesus promised (Mark 9: 23). Everything — even life without worry!

“Do not be anxious about anything,” Paul later wrote, “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: 6-7).

Peace beyond comprehension? Is that what we are experiencing? If not, is that only because we don’t believe it’s possible?

But, haven’t you experienced it already? As a child, did you worry about paying the rent? Why not? Was it because you trusted your parents to take care of all that? It wasn’t your responsibility — not your worry. Isn’t that what Jesus and Paul are saying? Trust your Father.

Imagine if we really did that. Imagine how liberating that would be. As Haddon W. Robinson said, “What worries you masters you.”

Corrie Ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.” Imagine how much stronger we would feel, how much more energetic, if not weighed down by our worries.

Can we enjoy peace without limits? It’s possible!

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church of Christ, Americus.

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