Caregivers come in all varieties: some are well-known; some are ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help others. One of the most prolific authors on the subject is Max Lucado. He also serves the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. Among his most popular works are Grace, Fearless, Before Amen, Glory Days, and Anxious for Nothing (which is the basis of this devotional). Max Lucado’s writing is simple and clear, heavily rooted in scripture, and full of practical images that lift the soul and open the mind.
Philippians 4: 6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” In these times when we all are fraught with worry and anxiety, Max Lucado conveys in beautiful, reassuring passages like this one how to use our faith in God to overcome fears and face life calmly. He shares an acronym, C.A.L.M., to provide a prescription for dealing with our troubled thoughts.
C – Celebrate God’s goodness,
A – Ask God for help
L – Leave your concerns with Him
M – Meditate on good things.
He suggests that we face the “chaos” but not “meditate on the mess”; he shows us ways to take our pain and fear to God and let go, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). He encourages “prayer, not despair” because “As you pray, the peace of God will guard your heart and mind”. He explains that our challenge is the WAY we think about our problems, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (Prov. 2:3). Furthermore, he tells us to always give thanks as “Worry refuses to share the heart with gratitude”. Quoting Martin Luther: “Stay with Christ, although your eyes do not see Him and your reason does not grasp Him”, Max underlines the need for being grateful even if it doesn’t seem that God is near. Then he reminds us that God is always with us, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” (Gen. 26:24). Continuing, he exhorts us to cling to Christ, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you” (John 15:4-10).
He advises us to focus on good things, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things” (Phil. 4: 8). This provides less stressful lives, something we all need and God desires for us.
Max offers this prayer:
Dear Lord, You spoke to storms. Would you speak to ours? You calmed the hearts of the apostles. Would you calm the chaos within us? You told them to fear not. Say the same to us. We are weary from our worry, battered and belittled by the gales of life. Oh, Prince of Peace, bequeath to us a spirit of calm. Quench anxiety. Stir up courage. Let us know less fret and more faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen. (1)
(1) Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado, 2017