Matthew 6:25-33- 25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… 26Look at the birds of the air: … your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?7 28And why are you anxious…? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin… 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you…31Therefore do not be anxious… your heavenly Father knows what you need… 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
According to statistics discovered by the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 40 million North American citizens, ages 18-54, suffer from anxiety disorders. 65% take prescription meds daily, 43% take mood-altering prescriptions, and 42% use recreational drugs to cope with their constant stress. And in a world where responsibilities, sickness, crime, and chaos are unrestrained, I can understand how these numbers climbed so high.
But, I wish the statistics were different.
I know several people who deal with anxiety on a regular basis. Some of them see this Scripture as a means for others to subtly minimize their pain. Others see it as a rebuke of sorts. But, I don’t believe that’s true at all. I see a loving God, holding a shaken soul, determined to assure them He’s got them covered.
And He does. Next time the pressures of life start to overwhelm you, go straight to Him. (Psalm 61:2) Don’t allow one second of your life to be overshadowed by fear. He won’t reject you for a “lack of faith.” He won’t turn you away because “you don’t trust Him enough.” It’s a constant battle with this flesh. He knows that. But let Him hold you while you tremble. You’ll see just how quickly that spirit of worry will be stomped out by peace when you rest in Him. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I struggle with change. That’s when anxiety starts knocking on my door. I get comfortable with how things are, and the thought that something different might be worse causes so many mixed emotions for me. What if this destroys everything I’ve already worked for? How will this affect my family? What if I just messed my life up? But, one thing I try to remember is something my youth pastor said to me when I was just 16 years old, praying and fretting about a decision I was supposed to make, with these same worries on the brain. He said, “Kristi, you can’t just step out of God’s will. He’s not going to make it easy for you to fail. He’s guiding you and He will get you where you need to go.” Then he quoted a Scripture,
Psalm 37:23- “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”
Once again, I realized why I didn’t have to worry. He has my life in the palm of His hand, and as long as I’m letting Him lead, I’m going to be okay. No need to panic. I just need to seek Him. He’ll take care of the rest.
Questionable, uncertain, uncomfortable, and even scary situations come into our lives at times, but He can use them to ensure our growth, if we let Him. As Steven Furtick said, “We don’t want Him to prevent the fight, because we need Him to provide the faith.” When a stressful time comes your way, look at it as another opportunity to become stronger and even more secure in your faith. Just be open with the Lord. (He already knows your heart anyways!) He’ll provide you with strength, peace, and comfort. He will take care of you. Rest assured in that fact.
Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its peace. No one expects you to be able to handle it on your own. No one could. That’s why He tells you to come to Him. Get it off your chest. Pour your heart out. He wants you to!
(1 Peter 5:7- “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”)
Don’t wait until you’re a mess; the moment it hits, start a conversation with the One Who sticks closer than a brother.
“There is something comforting about a billion stars held steady by a God Who knows what He’s doing.” And that same God who holds the universe in His hands is holding you. You are going to be okay. More than okay.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the assurance that You give me in Your word, that You will take care of me. Thank you for providing peace that can’t be explained. Help me to turn to You the moment I sense unease come my way. Thank You for loving me like You do and for providing all of my needs. In Your wonderful name I pray. Amen.