Yesterday I was struck with Paul’s writing to Titus and pointing out grace and peace. Here Paul is in prison in Rome and had been for some time. This morning as I begin to read Philemon, I read Paul once again greeting him with the same words: grace and peace. By now Paul is calling himself old as he does in verse 9. I say that I am “old and special” almost every time someone asks me the question in greeting, “How are you?” I do that because I don’t want to tell people I’m anxious or concerned, or …. Paul is saying he is old but he is also saying he has peace due to God’s grace even though He is in prison. He also goes on to tell Philemon to prepare a guest room for him as he prays he will have the chance to leave prison and visit him.
I read yesterday and today’s passages and am convicted that God is wanting to grow me in His gifts of grace and peace. The fact that I awake quite anxious many mornings does not need to reflect how I live out each day. God knows my heart and if it is an anxious one I will likely question much of what He asks me to do. A heart at peace is far more apt to act on God’s nudge at the time He gives it. So, this morning I asked God to teach me how to live in grace. I found myself needing to thank God for what He is doing that I don’t know about in the cases that make me anxious. I also thanked Him for the outcome that I don’t know, but I trust the outcome to be God’s rather than mine.
I learned well as a child what anxiety is and I also learned to cover it well with an exterior that would hide it. Now I’m learning that God wants me free from anxiety’s bondage. It does freeze me from addressing God’s nudges at times. Yesterday I said I’d need to address grace and peace some more. This is today’s assignment and one I know God is nudging me to accept. I do so with a glad heart that senses God’s peace.