Genie In A Bottle

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

I try to avoid using passages of Scripture that I think have turned into church cliches.  Everything’s already been said about them, and to a lot of us, they’ve lost their power–another empty saying to roll your eyes at.  It’s more fun to find the hidden new stories than to hear the same ol’ platitudes for the 300th time…

That being said, there is a reason that cliches are…well…cliches–there is truth in them.  (Not an original thought; stole it from a friend).

This particular passage is one that Christians use all the time to comfort each other; it’s also one that the person on the receiving end grits their teeth at, while thinking to themselves, “Easy for you to say; you’re not in my situation.  You can’t begin to imagine what I’m going through!”  Trust me, I’m rolling my eyes right along with you…

This is one of those instances where most folks hear what they want to hear, or expect to hear.  That the brain-dead sheep in front of them is telling them that God will snap his fingers and fix everything if we just wish really really hard.  Hey, Bonehead!  If that shit really worked, I wouldn’t be freaking out right now.  Do you think I’m reveling in my situation?  I’d like to believe in a Genie God as much as you do, but He doesn’t exist!!

Bear with me, here…

First of all, sometimes Genie God does occasionally pop out of His bottle and grant your three wishes; more oftentimes, He doesn’t.  More importantly, though, is that we read what is actually being said, rather than what we expect to hear.  This passage doesn’t say, “Present your requests to God and He’ll make everything go away.”  It says that the PEACE of God will guard your hearts and minds.  That you don’t have to freak out, not because everything is going to magically fix itself, but that–in time–everything will be okay, one way or another.  You don’t have to control your situation; more importantly, you don’t have to allow your situation to control you.

I guess the point of all this is that God is more like a bottle of Prozac than a magic lamp.  You’ll still have issues, but He’ll help take the edge off a bit…if taken as directed.

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9 Responses to Genie In A Bottle

  1. Ash says:

    Well put. 🙂

  2. vickie schultz Merwin says:

    I plan to have my nephew read this… he has a hard time with stuff rite now.. and says it does no good to pray… Nikki you are gifted with your writting and making people understand things…. but so was your mom…. Thanks again and please ,, keep it coming!

  3. Sister says:

    Who knew we had such brilliance in the family

  4. Nikki D. says:

    Thanks, ladies 🙂 This one was a bit unintentional. A little more Christian-oriented than my usual schtick. But it came from me trying to work through my own feelings of…freaking-outish-ness? Sure, let’s go with that.

  5. amysue73 says:

    Good point. I take my crazy pills daily, and there is still sometimes an edge.

  6. Sara says:

    Yay for Prozac! And yay for God, too! I love reading these.

  7. ladyluck2011 says:

    I know this has been here for a while, and I’ve even read it before, but today it resonates. You have a truly brilliant mind, Nikki. Without even knowing it, you have guided me to peace today with a trifling issue that is surely contributing to my frown lines. Thank you. 🙂

  8. Nikki D. says:

    If my day wasn’t so jam-packed already, I would say that I have a fruit arrangement and I’ll be over in ten minutes.

    I go back and re-read my stuff relatively frequently. Honestly, it’s the reason that I keep the URL, even though I don’t blog very often.

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