What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking that a beach vacation with my adult children and their families would be a fabulous idea. And it was. But despite all of our planning and attempts to be flexible, it wasn’t always fun.
We tried to play it loose with schedules, but that led to tension when not everyone took a turn preparing a meal, or we had to shepherd kids to the playground or to the beach. Whose turn was it to hose down the sand toys, anyway?
By midweek we were on each other’s nerves. It became apparent that while the rhythms of relationships may change as families age, some things remain the same: it’s still impossible to please everyone. My brain knew this, of course, but my heart had visions of happy, smiling faces all week. And there were no smiling faces when my 19-month-old grandson awoke daily at the crack of dawn and proceeded to make sure everyone else was awake too.
While I know this family tension was temporary and not relationship-threatening (at least I hope not), I also know that small things can escalate into big things. And big things can lead to long-term feuds. So I committed myself to practicing the disciplines of prayer and Bible reading. After reflecting on Philippians 4:6-7, I was reminded that worrying about my problems can compound my anxiety, and that God tells me to take everything to him in prayer.
I don’t know about you, but I want to experience the peace that comes from applying these words of assurance to my everyday life. Meditating on God’s Word helped fill me with peace during those times of stress with my family. And that peace provided the rest I needed on my family vacation.
Do you have a need within your family, big or small, that’s stressing you out? If so, consider meditating on the following Bible verses to help dispel your worry:
Philippians 4:6-7 (CEV)
“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (CEV)
“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”
John 14:27 (CEV)
I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (CEV)
“The Lord gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm. So always trust the Lord because he is forever our mighty rock.”
Romans 15:13 (CEV)
I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.
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