“WORRY OR PEACE? It’s a choice”
a devotional by Ruth Hryshkanych

I was scared.  Really scared.

As a high school missionary kid (MK) in the Congo political unrest and military uprisings were real threats.  But this one was especially upsetting to me.  We had gone home on vacation from our boarding school and came back to classes to find that one student couldn’t return.  The border between our African countries was closed due to fighting in his country.  This was serious stuff; people were killed in these uprisings.  You never knew when the African people you loved might be turned against you by propaganda or fear.  Or when the enemy would invade and capture your mission station and might take you hostage.

I was so afraid for my MK brother.  We were especially close; I loved him so much.  We shared a lot and had a deep friendship.  I cried out to God to protect him, to send him back to school, to keep him safe.  I begged God for help – I was a mess, worried and upset all the time.

My help came from a Bible verse God showed me.  I wrote that verse on a slip of paper and kept it in my pocket.  Every time I was overcome with fear or sadness or worry, I pulled the paper out and read the verse again.  For two weeks I struggled, cried and prayed.  I worked hard at putting the verse into practice.  Very slowly I calmed down, comforted and less frantic and upset, although there was still no good news.

God answered my prayer for his safety.  The borders opened, the fighting stopped, he returned to our boarding school.  I was overjoyed and so grateful.  Little did I know that the greater joy was that in those 2 weeks I had memorized a key Bible verse for my life.  Philippians 4:6-7 had become a lesson I would never forget.  When struggles and upsetting issues come, I still go to these verses for help and comfort and the promise that I can have a peace for my heart and mind that not even I understand.

“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.”

I choose to believe – to act on these verses – to trust the God Who wrote the Bible for me and my life.  Then my heart and my mind are at peace.

Mama Ruth