Today, the second Sunday in May, is a day set aside by former President Woodrow Wilson “as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” For some women here, this is a very joyful day filled with the laughter and fun of family and friends. For others, today may be a day of sorrow as you think of children you never had, children lost in death, or children to whom you are currently estranged. For most, today will be a day of both joy and sorrow as you reflect upon the highs and lows of motherhood. Mothers, whether you have 5 or more children, less than 5, or none at all; on behalf of this church and our nation we say God bless you and thank you.
Our desire here this morning is to love you, comfort you, and point you to Christ so that He may provide you joy and peace. Our passage this morning may seem like an odd choice on Mother’s Day, but I am confident that mothers will find it appropriate.
We shall turn to Philippians 4:6-7 and discuss the issue of anxiety and specifically as it relates to moms. Consider the passage as God speaking directly to moms:
[Mom], do not be anxious about [past failures, present mistakes, or future problems] anything, but in everything [joyful playtimes, tearful goodbyes, or sleepless nights] by prayer and supplication [for skinned knees and broken hearts] with thanksgiving [thanking God for letting you be a mother to your children and to other children] let your requests [healed “boo-boos”, protection from danger, salvation] be made known to God. [who is the One who can do far more than even you.] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [the only peace that can sustain an anxious mother’s heart] will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Moms, today we will discuss three principles from this text: First, God commands you to not be anxious, Second, God provides you a way out of anxiety, and Third, God provides you a better way than anxiety.
First, God commands you to not be anxious
Moms, look at verse 6 and see how clear God is with you. He tells you “do not be anxious”. He does not tell you to try to not be anxious, but to not be anxious. He does not tell you that some things are worth being anxious over, but the command is that you should not be anxious.
The command is even more wonderful when we see how extensive it is: “do not be anxious about anything.” You have, despite what you may think, no legitimate reason to be anxious. You may be thinking, “Great! Not only am I anxious but now I am in trouble for being anxious!” This is not how the verse should be read. It is not condemning but encouraging. God says to you, “I know you are tempted to be anxious about many things, but you do not have to be. I will provide escape and show a better way.”
Second, God provides you a way out of anxiety
God, in His great mercy, not only knows we are going to be anxious but provides a way to soothe the anxious heart: especially the anxious mother’s heart. He tells you to turn your anxiety into requests. Anxiety comes in and should go right out in prayer to God the Father.
Remember that you are not to be anxious about anything, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” “In everything” literally means every thing. You have a High Priest [Jesus] who is able to sympathize with your weaknesses and He calls you to boldly “draw near to the throne of grace” (Heb 4:16) in prayer to find the mercy and grace you need. He not only tells you not to be anxious, but provides a way out and a better way.
Third, God provides a better way than anxiety.
Verse 7 promises that when you make your requests known to God, you will receive “the peace of God.” Moms, the better way is the path that leads to peace, not anxiety. This peace is rooted in God as He has reveled Himself to us through Jesus Christ. This peace of God “surpasses all understanding.” There is no explaining it but there is no denying it either. It is true peace that is not dependent upon external circumstances but on the internal conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord. Whether your family life is great or awful, peace is provided through Christ. This peace is not only given but it “will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” It guards your heart and helps keep your emotions from running away from you. It guards your mind to keep your thoughts from wandering down perilous paths. Mothers, you have an important task given to you by God. Keep fighting, keep praying, keep loving, and keep trusting in Jesus Christ. God bless you and thank you for all you do.