By Robert Halsey Pine
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:1-9 NRSV).
My goal is to be able to live Paul’s exhortation as given here to the Philippians. I want to get up every morning shouting it. I want to have it on my lips at midday. I want to sing myself to sleep with it at night. Rejoice in the Lord! Make me gentle! I know that You are near, Lord! I shall not worry! I humbly make my requests to You in prayer with thanksgiving! Your peace will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus!
My life is a song to the Lord. And like Him it has no beginning and no end. It is the first thing on my lips and the last. I have been touched deeply by His Spirit and I cannot forget what He has shown me. In my time of trial, he held me up. He carried me through my chaotic journey. He restored me inside and out. He was there when nothing else would do. He protected me before I knew that I was threatened. I praise Him in all things for only He can solve the puzzle and see the answers.
He disciplines me behind His woodshed regularly. I am better when I return. Knowing Him makes my life more difficult, for now I have a way to measure how I’m doing in His name. His gentleness teaches me the way to treat my brothers and sisters. His peace does surpass all understanding. He makes me want to go with Him, but he has work right here for me to do. I mustn’t think of any job as too large or too small that He desires to have me take ownership in.
St. Paul told Titus in his letter to him (Titus 2:11-13 NRSV), “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.