Devotions By Jan

Knee Jerk Reaction

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Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

No one enjoys this part of a physical exam!  When that reflex hammer strikes just below the patella, the leg is supposed to extend as an automatic reflex.  This reaction is what helps maintain balance and posture without conscious thought.  But the term has also come to mean an immediate unthinking and emotional response.

Today’s verse addresses the problem of worry, which for me tends to be my knee jerk reaction!  Worry just seems to come naturally as a first response.  Sometimes my worries do not even have a basis in reality but arise from my imagination!  But Paul, who had plenty to worry about as a prisoner, gives us the solution.  Paul could experience God’s peace even when in chains.  And that is because He gave over his worrisome thoughts to the Lord in prayer.

Worrying changes nothing, but praying can.  Talking to the Lord and unburdening myself to Him helps my heart to trust Him.  He already knows what worries are running through my head.  But He asks me to name those worries in the form of petitions.  What freedom can be mine when I give it all to Him!  He replaces that worry with His peace that guards my heart and mind.  Instead of being consumed with worry, I can get some distance from that problem.  And in faith I can thank Him in advance for His answers.  My mind and heart can be at rest, knowing I can trust His hand to work.

Lord, keep me from that knee jerk reaction of worry.  Help me turn every anxious thought into heartfelt prayer.

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