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Anxiety

Remember the panic attack your anxious four-year-old self had standing before their first crowd. A million eyes bored smoldering holes on your body. You could feel their thoughts crawling all over you. Anxiety butterflies fluttered around your stomach area like startled birds.  Your few-line poem crawled like a loaded truck up the hill of your throat. Patiently, daddies and mummies waited for you to form your words. 

Now, you are an adult. You’re probably no longer afraid of countless gazes. But your anxiety didn’t fade away with your childhood innocence. Every often, it shows up right to your face and screams, “I never left you!”. 

We all can relate to this. 

Life presents a lot to be apprehensive about. We wobbled through as children, but we are still here. We’re still faced with anxious thoughts coming against us in varied forms. Some people nurse a secret fear of not being accepted by others. For some others, it’s that dread of losing their jobs and having to hit rock bottom. In such a world with an unstable economic situation, the natural desire to have more of the money invented by the Phoenicians, leaves a lot to worry about too. 

Parenting comes with plenty of ambivalent feelings both of joy and foreboding. They are faced with a huge temptation to worry and be fearful for the outcome of their beloved children. They ask themselves, “Am I doing great as a parent? Am I too strict on my children or overly lax? Which disciplinary measure is best for my child?” As the children grow through the various age brackets, the fears rave on. Each age and developmental stage come with its peculiar troubles and leaves a lot to be fearful about. 

Worst still, hearing such news as a toddler crawling off the parapet of a backyard swimming pool and is picked up dead at the bottom or a boy playing hide and seek with his older sister but is found frozen in a lock-in refrigerator, or other such news, could leave you edgy and more protective of your precious eggs. 

The Bible, God’s all-time answer to man’s many problems, is not silent as regards anxiety. Jesus warned clearly against worrying about things used for life’s sustenance. Doesn’t it beat your mind that we worry about what keeps life going but hardly about the life itself? Since you’re not in control of your very life, what makes you think that getting worked up about how this life is provided for and protected from harm, is in your care? Who gets an inch taller by thinking all night long about how their bills will be paid? The birds which nest next to our windows get this right in their outlook on life. You could term them “carefree!”. They live life in moments. And yet, your heavenly Father has never allowed them to come to your door asking for a grain! If the family pets do not lack food, what about the Sons in the family? 

Giving thoughts about what to wear doesn’t make you any clothed either! Wildflowers never work, and yet are gorgeously attired. So, Jesus is invariably saying it’s pointless having a doubtful disposition towards life. Instead of worrying so hard, simply rest on God’s care, love and providence. We need to know and rely on the love God has for us. (1 John 4:16). The best worrying earn us is a tired look and body. Anxiety brings a whole lot of stress on us. “Medical research estimates as much as 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related”, Brenda J. Thames and Deborah J. Thomason wrote in an article, Stress Management for the Health of it. 

Don’t worry about anything; pray about everything. And after you have prayed, stay full of words that affirm what you asked for. Never let your words reveal a doubt in what you asked for.

So instead of thinking worrisome thoughts, fill your mind with God’s unfailing love and everlasting affection. Stay your mind on things that are pure, just, true, trustworthy, and of a good report (Philippians 4v8). Almighty God promises to bring you peace which is unexplainable. This peace will guard your mind from anxiety. 

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

There is peace that God gives.

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