“Brothers and sisters:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.”
~Phil 4: 6-9
The first time I came across this verse was on senior retreat in high school. It was a beautiful, crisp October day, and both the weather and my retreat experience left me full of gratitude.
I still return to this verse often– most often when I can easily and readily feel the work of God in my life and when I can easily see the work of God in my life. It is an easy verse to pray with when I am experiencing consolation. It reminds me too of our engagement and marriage, as Chris, knowing this was one of my favorite verses incorporated this throughout the letter he wrote to propose to me. Every three years in October, as I hear this scripture read at mass, I am reminded of how much Chris teaches me about God’s love for me.
Other times, though, this verse wells up within me when I am in a moment of desolation– full of self-doubt, of worry, of fear, and of unrest. In these moments, this scripture challenges me both to trust in God and to also name where I am experiencing God’s grace, even though I cannot as easily see God at work. This scripture comes to me in prayer at times when I am struggling with relationships with loved ones also. Prayer at this point often feels hard.
Each time, I came back to this Philippians passage, I learn something new from it, and I am reminded of how God profoundly speaks to each of us, uniquely, through scripture. It is why we call scripture the Living Word of God because God uses it today to reveal something to us about his love for us and his desire to be in relationship with us.
What is your scripture passage that you return to often? What is it about this certain passage that resonates with you?
How have you experienced God speaking to you through scripture?