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When I, Jenna was growing up, my dad had school drop- off duty. And without fail, every morning as he slowed the car to a stop and we hurriedly unbuckled our seats belts, grabbed our backpacks, and threw open the doors, he would give the same exhortation: “Girls, have a good day. Laugh alot! Learn alot! And don’t forget who gave it to ya.”

I never thought much about the phrase growing up. My sisters and I would just robotically say it with him and then quickly yell, “Okay, Dad!” before slamming the car door shut.

LAUGH, LEARN, REMEMBER

And as a young girl, I naturally did just that. Laughing came easily. Learning was fun. Remembering God as the giver of my day? Well, it wasn’t always on my mind, but I never doubted God was with me and cared for me.

But then as I started to grow up. And with growing came more responsibilities. And with more responsibilities came anxiety. It wasn’t long before homework hours lengthened, friends and family hurt me, and I hurt them. Pretty soon I was taking my SATs, learning how to interview for jobs, trying to pay bills. Marriage brought deep joy, but also deep struggles. Cancer invaded the family, and my heroes in life passed away. Babies were born and another level of worry entered.

The older I got, the less naturally I lived. Like Jesus taught, “Come to Me like a child.” Carefree, full of wonderment. The serious struggles of life squelched laughter. The joy of learning turned into pressure to achieve. And remembering God? The anxieties of life pushed out thoughts of Him. That is why it’s so hard for me to accept Paul’s words in Phil. 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord, Always.” This is a command. Always though? How are we supposed to do that with the pain and anxiety of life?

Rejoicing in the Lord does not mean we are in a constant state of excitement. It’s not about sucking it up and even putting on a fake smile. No, rejoicing means to remember. It means to be grateful for past, even present, and what’s to come.

Remembering that the Lord is here, always. He sees it all, He knows what’s going on in and around your unique life.

Remembering that the Lord is in control, always.

Remembering that the Lord is not only the giver of your day but also the ordainer of every minute inside of it, always.

Remembering that amidst the pressures, pain, and anxiety in life, He is sovereign, always.

Anxious for Nothing

 

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