| September 14, 2017
This week’s 3-day track comes from Max Lucado, Senior Minister at Oaks Hill Church in San Antonio Texas. Max has been deemed “The Best Preacher in America” by Readers Digest and is a best-selling Christian author with over 100 published books. This September, Max released his 34th trade book, Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World.
Have you ever felt like there was an elephant sitting right in the center of your chest? That no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t catch your breath? If so, you are not alone. A native Hawaiian once told me the origin of the name that Islanders use for us non-Hawaiians—haole. Haole is a Hawaiian word for “no breath.” The name became associated with the European immigrants of the 1820s. While there are varying explanations for this term, I like the one he gave me: “Our forefathers thought the settlers were always in a hurry to build plantations, harbors, and ranches. To the native Hawaiians they seemed short of breath.”
In this 3-day track, Max challenges us to free ourselves from the anxiety that holds us back. He explains that through God’s healing we can overcome these barriers and live more freely.
Whether it’s a pep talk or even a deeper form of healing, take the next few days to recognize ways in which you can free yourself from anxieties.
It’s enough to make us wonder if the apostle Paul was out of touch with reality when he wrote, “Be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6).
Paul doesn’t seem to offer any leeway here. Be anxious for nothing. Nada. Is this what he meant? Not exactly. It’s the life of perpetual anxiety that Paul wanted to address. The Lucado Revised Translation reads, “Don’t let anything in life leave you perpetually breathless and in angst.”
If you feel like an elephant is sitting right in the center of your chest, making you one of the haole, the breathless ones, I have a passage of scripture for you to read, Philippians 4:4–8:
These five verses in Philippians challenge us with four admonitions that lead to one wonderful promise: “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds” (v. 7).
Do you hunger to know the peace which passes understanding? If so, you aren’t alone. The Bible is Kindle’s most highlighted book. And Philippians 4:6–7 is the most highlighted passage. Apparently, we all could use a word of comfort. God is ready to give it, get that elephant off your chest, and get you breathing freely again.
What is the elephant on your chest? Share in the comments below.