Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Put it into Practice

Rejoice in the Lord, always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally brother, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me---put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Php 4:4-9

Our pastor’s new granddaughter was seriously ill last week. Her father took her to the emergency room when she developed respiratory distress. Three times she ceased breathing during her hospital care. When her young father was twelve, he had watched his little sister die in the same hospital from a different viral illness. His pathos was overwhelming, particularly the feeling he experienced when he entered the hospital cafeteria,
“Daddy, it was just the way it was when Alex died. All those memories came over me like a wave; and now my little girl was there on oxygen fighting a nasty virus.”

The emotional weight of that moment forced him outside. He told his Dad later. “I just cried out, ‘O God, you are my Rock and my Foundation’….and then I went back inside to be the man God created me to be.”

I want some of that---the ability to pour my heart out to God when life is impossible, followed by the fortitude to walk through those circumstances doing the right thing.

As doctors, we frequently watch our patients go there….but then comes our turn.
How do we do our own tough circumstances well?

Whether it be illness, or a torn relationship, or failed business, or malpractice, or failure in sin, or broken dreams, Paul lays it out for us in this magnificent chapter in Philippians.

1. Rejoice in the Lord, for he is near.
2. Pour out our hearts to the King of the universe
3. Thank God for all he has done before
4. Accept the peace that comes with God’s presence
5. Focus on the right thing, the honorable, the excellent
6. Watch how men and women in Christ have walked the same path before you
7. Do, as God leads

My pastor’s granddaughter is fine now and his son is a new role model I can now follow.

Dear God,
Help me rest in you and walk it through.


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