Pastor Mike’s Garage February 2nd, 2023

*Pastors Garage-Feb 2/2023*

This too shall pass! As I sit in by office writing this PG its a balmy -31
degrees Celsius out there! But better weather is in the forecast for the
horizon! They’re saying close to zero by mid week next week! I’m thankful
for this weather fluctuation on two accounts. We are leaving this part of
the world for warmer weather for the next ten days and I know I will
appreciate it a lot more as its that cold upon our departure. I know it
would haunt me a little bit if it were really nice here before I left
because invariably I would feel guilty about leaving when there’s so much
to do! On the flip side, as the weather is supposed to get considerably
better upon our departure, it brings me comfort that it won’t be bitterly
cold while were gone. Otherwise I’d be spending my time there worrying
about the heat in our house, my mother, our pets, and the car wash. That’s
the beauty of worry and anxiety, it can get you both ways!

Something I’ve noticed as I’ve aged is that I am a lot more prone to worry,
anxiety, and fear than I used to be. A trip like this wouldn’t have even
phased me in my younger years. Midnight the night before I’d throw a few
things in a bag, morning comes, head for the plane, wing it once I arrive
at intended destination. Now I find myself stewing over flights, hotels,
car rentals, activities, insurance, etc. Planning events is no different.
There was a time I could plan a event, celebration, camp, whatever, for
hundreds of people and it was no sweat. Now there is definitely sweat
involved of the worry variety! It’s funny, everything in life seemed so
certain and structured when I was young. Now the uncertainty of life, and
thoughts of the future, wakes my up in the middle of the night!

I was at the hospital yesterday visiting a close relative who has suffered
a serious stroke. As I sat with him my heart was burdened. I thought what
it must feel like to still have cognitive ability while being unable to
move or communicate. People in the room talking about you and making
decisions about your life and not even having the ability to voice your own
thoughts and concerns. It took me back to a time last March when I was in
the hospital with some serious internal bleeding. While my trails pale in
comparison, there was still a large amount of fear and anxiety as we
weren’t sure exactly what was going on and what the future might hold. It
was during one of my dark nights battling anxiety that a good friend sent
me some verses from Philippians that made all the difference for me that
specific night. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about
everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then
you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ
Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7 As I shared my anxiety about the future, my life,
my family in prayer to the Lord a weight was lifted off. As I thought about
and thanked Him for all the blessings in my life and His faithfulness to me
I was actually encouraged. Did my health problems magically go away
instantly? No! But my heart and mind was guarded against fear, worry,
anxiety, and uncertainty, which is what I really needed in that moment!

I know some of you are dealing with some big things right now! And even if
your not, the beauty of fear and anxiety is that it doesn’t necessarily
take much to keep us up at night. I encourage you meditate on those verses.
Give it a try, literally voice your concerns to the Lord! Spend some time
looking over and thanking Him for the past focusing on the blessing in your
life. You may just be surprised with the result!

Pastor Mike