Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:5, NIV*
Some people go all melodramatic when they’re hurt. Some lash out. Others need to be alone to deal with the pain… or to stoke a martyr complex.
I tend to fall into the “poor me” category. Saturday morning I went to Curves (I don’t happily do Saturday mornings out). After I signed in, I bent to collect my things and stood up—straight into the underside edge of the countertop.
I couldn’t stop a little yelp. The other women were sympathetic, and I could have played it up a bit. I was also tired, my head hurt, and I wanted to slink off and cry a bit.
But today’s verse slid into my mind. That word “gentleness” caught me. When I’m hurt I may exhibit “gentle” but in the beaten-down, defeated sort of way.
Somehow I knew the Holy Spirit was encouraging me to be gentle in the normal way, not the victim way, and to carry on with my workout instead of letting the hurt stop me. “The Lord is near.” That comforted me, said there was no need to look for sympathy from others or from myself. God knew, and He was with me.
In context, Philippians 4:4-7 talks about choosing prayer over anxiety and rejoicing in God’s presence. It’s not about klutzy accidents and self-pity. Or is it?
Father, I praise You for gently caring for me even in the little things of life. Help me be confident that You’ll be just as present in the bigger troubles. Help me keep a gentle, quiet spirit that’s resting in Your will—because I can trust that You are near.
This week’s song is Fee’s “Arms that Hold the Universe.”
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
I think Philippians 4 includes all that happens in life — even our klutzy accidents…. 🙂 To acknowledge that our heavenly Father is always near, taking care of us, is why we remain happy, trusting Him to heal our every owie….
It can relate to God’s opinion on how the children of Israel acted in the desert…. Instead of remembering how the Lord had just rescued them from the Egyptians, when they needed food and water, their first reaction was to complain and accuse Moses and God of trying to do them in….. That didn’t go over so well…. They needed to remember and rejoice — but, that can be hard with a big lump on one’s head. 🙂
Remembering God’s grace in the past helps our reactions to rejoice.
It’s so true, Margaret, it’s His nearness that lets us remain happy, and we can trust Him because we remember what He’s already done. When I think of the people with the sweetest spirits, that’s got to be the cause. Not that they have easy lives, because they don’t, but because they’re sure God is with them, and they know He’s enough. Blessings to you today!