“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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.”



At my post-op appointment, my surgeon’s assistant asked about my new knee. I went through a list of complaints, most based on a theme of achiness and stiffness.

Mark made a few notes and then looked up and said, “Yep, knees are hard.” He proceeded to check the knee’s alignment and range of motion. At the last bend, he pronounced, “The knee looks great!”

“So I’ve got to quit whining?”

“Yep, you’ve really got to quit whining.”

Four days into the new year and I was already looking for reasons to check out: it aches, it’s stiff. On Facebook this morning, a friend from college, Debra Caldwell, changed her profile picture to a child’s painting of a red circle with the printed words,

“There’s something in you that the world needs.”

I’ve written two books in which I affirm that God has placed us where we need to be. Each of us has a unique and blessed place in this world, doing what only we can do in unique and blessed relationships at unique and blessed times. Yet I still catch myself looking for the exit, a way out, a reason not to be. I still get anxious.

God needs us to be who He created us to be. But God doesn’t just throw out the expectations and hope for an Academy Award winning performance, fearing a box office flop! Paul reminds us that God is at work in our lives enabling us to shine like stars in the universe (Philippians 2:15b), not like Hollywood icons, but like His beautiful creations shining brightly in the darkest night.

Heavenly Father, we rejoice in this new day in which to be a shining light in your glorious creation. Bless us as we become the person You need us to be. Share with us that peace that surpasses all understanding. Help us to focus on whatever is true, noble, right and pure, whatever is lovely and admirable, whatever is excellent and praiseworthy. To You be the glory! Amen.