Worry. Stress. Anxiety.
We tend to invite these guests into our daily conversations as if they are totally welcomed. Worse yet we throw them around pridefully to prove how much we can carry. We say to the world, “We are strong women. Look! See what we can do!” We behave as if we were a circus act and folks should buy a ticket to witness our great accomplishment.
I know Worry, Stress, and Anxiety all to well. They really bug me sometimes. They pop in unannounced. They monopolize conversation. Then they leave the place a wreck when they’re done. They even come in at night and rob sleep. I confess yesterday I let Worry stay for dinner, even though she made my hands shake and heart beat fast. She made my mind drift. She even invited me to use sharp words with my family. Then I came upon this verse:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life (Psalm 139:23-24).
I find it pretty interesting that right after “know my anxious thoughts” David asks God to point out anything that “offends” his Master. So can our anxious thoughts be offensive to God? What does Worry tell God about our faith? What does Stress whisper to God about our trust? What does Anxiety reveal to God about our assurance in Him? I think they relay a clear message that our faith is weak, our trust is impotent and our assurance is skeptical.
That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” (John 6:16-20).
Today when you are drifting out to sea and the storm starts swirling, when terror sets in, be still and hear Jesus say, “Don’t be afraid, I am here.”
Then you can give Worry, Stress and Anxiety the news that they are no longer welcome at the table of your heart.
“So don’t worry about these things… Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” -Jesus