God Thoughts on Anxiety

 
  
 
Do not be anxious about your life…”
 
Jesus admonishes his disciples 5 times
in Matthew chapter 6 about being anxious! Seriously? Has Jesus looked at my life? Has he seen my husband’s schedule or looked at our checkbook? And now the car dies! Anxiety. Worry. It’s the national pre-occupation, right?
Everyone does it; and it’s not just an American thing. Obviously it was a problem in Jesus day as well or He would
not have made such a point about it! He wants us to pay attention. Anxiety is
not to be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Tension headaches drive you to Advil or Tylenol. It ties your gut in knots,
turns your shoulders into bricks and stomach acid tries to eat a hole in your
intestines. Worry keeps you up at night or causes you to grind your teeth. It
wears out your adrenal glands! When the adrenals go, there is a domino effect.
Motivation plummets. You battle depression and exhaustion. Anxiety does awful things to your
body.

 

Anxiety and worry do awful things to relationships as well. We snap at
our spouse, our friends, our children. We lash out and say things we don’t mean
and then have a hard time saying, “I’m sorry.” When we drive ourselves until
the last nerve is frayed…our child asks a simple question, and appropriately
so; but we hear it as a demand. It is the straw that breaks us and we behave
badly. In that moment we are modeling for our child what God is like…but we don’t
model the truth about God. The sad part is that we reflect back to our child a
picture of himself that is also not true. He sees in our face that He is a
bother and a burden rather than a delight.

 

So
how do we stop the cycle? First we must understand the problem. The problem is
that we do not trust God. Ideally, we are to learn to trust God by first
trusting our parents, then our family, and then we branch out into the
community. If parents do job well they will be able to soften the blows when
other family members, friends and classmates turn on us, betray us and
otherwise let us down miserably. But what if parents leave gaps; sometimes they
are trustworthy, but other times not so much? That relationship mirrors our relationship with God. First, we learn to not trust
ourselves or God and then we develop a tentative approach to relationships with
extended family and most certainly, we are tentative in regard to trusting
outside the family.

 
Like it or not, the picture we have of trust within the family
(especially trust of parents) is projected onto self and God. God wears Dad’s
face; He wears Mom’s face. Parents talk to us—that’s how we learn to talk. They
walk us so that we can walk. We trust them; that’s how we learn to trust. If
they teach us that we should not trust, that trusting is a bad idea…what then?
We worry. We test the chair before we sit down. We do that because we have this
wonderful ability to generalize. Rather than, “I cannot trust my parent in
[this] situation.” We generalize to, “I cannot trust my parents.” It is further
shortened to “I cannot trust.” And then a funny morphing happens—it becomes a
command that we give ourselves: “Do not trust!” So we hold our cards close to
our vest and are tentative and careful as a life stance. Behind that stance is
a lack of trust that God has our back; a lack of trust that He will provide. We
have plenty of evidence from abandonment and neglect, to lack of provision,
from abuse of various kinds to savage betrayal.

 

Jesus
tells us plainly how to solve the problem: 
“Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto
you.
” Simple, but not easy. I was complaining to God about the cares of
this life one day when God told me to stop. He said that was His responsibility
that He accepted when I accepted Him as Savior. It was His part of that
covenant. My part of that covenant was to seek Him and develop the maturity and
character of Jesus as my own. That stopped that whine session! Even though I
know better, I have whined since then—old habits die hard. We are anxious about
the necessities of life: food, clothing, housing, cars, bank accounts, etc. but Jesus tells us
to look around and see the evidence of His provision. Birds are fed without “earning” it.
Wildflowers are dressed more elegantly than Solomon! He gently encourages us that
we can solve this problem!
Here are some other blog that speaks to the issue: http://lynndove.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/interview-with-author-harold-metzel/ and http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/how-stop-trashing-yourself-2012-09/
So what can we do?

·       Don’t deny reality, but take our focus off the problem and put it on God—get to really
know Him

·       Use your Bible as a life manual—read the red print to
know how God thinks about how to do life

·       Don’t give up

·       Ask God for someone trustworthy—someone who will present a different picture of Him; someone who can help you sort through the debris

There is plenty to fuss about in life–but we know Who is in ultimate control. When the waves threaten to overwhelm we can call out to the One who calmed the sea. Are you or have you been an Olympic class worrier?
Would you share some tips on how you beat the habit?

 
Blessings, Carol Brown, author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive, and
The Sassy Pants Series
for children of all ages!

Website for more information or to buy books: www.fromgodsheart.com

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