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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

Philippians 4:6

I think we sometimes really get this verse mixed up, and read it one way but apply it another. We often are anxious about everything and not praying about everything.

It’s so easy in this day and age to become anxious over everything, and rightfully so – the news is absolutely filled with disaster and tragedy.

We fret about sending our kids to school, where the money for the next bill is coming from, our health, job security etc.

But this verse confidently tells us to worry about nothing… absolutely nothing. The reason is this, God goes before us and He already know what tomorrow holds.

He knows where the money is coming from, He knows what the doctors report will say, He has your future already planned out for you and He sends angels with your children everywhere they go.

He goes before you today!

Lord, help me when I struggle to trust that You are always with me, as close as the mention of Your name. Remind me today that you go before me, and the battle is not mine, but yours!

The apostle Paul understands the lows of life’s trials and shares an encouraging word while imprisoned,

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6–7, NKJV.

Do you know those nights? The kind of night when tears hit your pillow as life overwhelms you or the nights you toss back and forth. Sometimes, we miss the nudge from God and think that all we need to sleep better is a comfortable position, but what we need is His peace from our anxiety.

God gives a pattern to release anxiety:

  1. Be anxious for nothing.

    This scripture doesn’t only say, “Don’t be anxious.” It says, “Don’t be anxious about one single thing.” This is easier said than done, but God wants you to know that nothing is out of His control.

  2. But in everything by prayer and supplication.

    Take everything to God in prayer. It doesn’t matter what situation you are going though right now, God cares, and He desires to hear about your fears, anxiety, and questions. A supplication is a request you petition to God—He wants to hear about the desires of your heart.

  3. With thanksgiving.

    Even if you do not see the answer yet—even if the situation you are facing has not changed—choose to thank God for hearing your prayers and for being in control. Choose to thank God for being all-powerful.

  4. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.

    I have learned that perfect peace is not the result of perfect circumstances, a perfect marriage, or a perfect bank account. Perfect peace emanates from a perfect God. The peace that passes all understanding is supernatural. It is like God places you in the eye of the storm, where there is protection in the middle of an unfavorable circumstance.

  5. Will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    You heart and your mind are the two places that the enemy attacks. However, this scripture says that God will guard the most vulnerable places of your being, so you can live above your circumstance and remove your adversary from condemning you.

When your life is being shaken, when your faith is tested, when you are grieving, there is hope. There is perfect peace that can pass your comprehension and every fear and stress has to submit to the authority of God. Whatever it is that is causing you to toss and turn at night, God is more powerful. That situation that makes you hyperventilate should not steal away your peace. You may not feel thankful for this season of life, but you can thank God for being in charge of each season.

Find a place to pray today because God desires for His people to resist the pressures of this world as He offers peace and harmony as an alternative to anxiety.

Will you join me on this journey of being anxious for nothing?

Prayer:

Lord, I’m so thankful I’m not alone during this lonely time of my life. Help me to trust you. Speak peace to my spirit. I cannot live in a state of anxiety, please help me to take everything to You in prayer. Prove to me today that you are the peacemaker and help me keep my heart and mind on You!

I’m sure you’ve noticed how anxieties crowd out God’s message of peace. We aren’t meant to carry them. We are meant to cast all our cares upon Him.

A wise person once asked me: Can you make this “issue” a “nonissue?” Can you just say, “This really isn’t that big of a deal”? It’s a true friend who gives honest feedback.

Nonissue, Embarrassing Moments, and the Like

Oh no! Over went my glass of iced tea on the place setting beside me. Formal night on my first cruise was in full swing. Men and women were dressed to the nines eagerly awaiting the first course. I was the entertainment.

The waiter tried to be nice but didn’t succeed. It wasn’t hard to miss his displeasure. (A kind word would have gone a long way. See Proverbs 12:25). Already overworked, he immediately devoted his full attention to my unfortunate event.

Since I had everyone’s attention at my table, I had a relevant story to share.

As a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mother of two boys, I often pursued interests outside the walls of my home for sanity’s sake. This included taking courses through my city’s community education. One course I took on the subject of etiquette was especially entertaining, not for the subject matter alone, but for what occurred during the class.

The class was held at an upscale restaurant. The waitress returned with a tray of drinks balanced on her extended hand. She lost her footing; the drinks left the tray and spilled over the table, onto us, and into our handbags on the floor. The class on etiquette had just begun.

Most of us were wet, but the instructor was soaked to the bone. She persevered through the lesson and three-course dinner. She exuded etiquette.

Make Issues Nonissues

To the instructor, this disaster was a nonissue. Her resilience was a testament of grace, benevolence, and years of studying etiquette, no doubt. I watched as she resiliently took life’s (small) blows in stride.

Isn’t it easy to be anxious and troubled by the little things in life? Jesus makes an observation about Martha: “You are anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). See, He understands human nature; He knows what we turn to. But He offers this antidote: Rest, Martha. Make this “issue” a “nonissue.” Look through my lens.

God Wants You to Pursue Peace

God wants you to see green pastures and calm waters, a yoke that is easy, a burden that is light (Matthew 11:30). He wants you to be delighted with creation (He was!): the sunrise and sunset, the eagle resting upon the tallest tree; the butterfly fluttering across the path; an infant smiling at his parent, and hearing, really hearing Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” I like Solomon’s version as well: “There are three things that amaze me—no, four things I do not understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman” (Proverbs 30:19).

The beautiful moments of life are vying for your attention. Even song sparrows, according to writer Ben Mirin, “alter the frequency of their song to become audible amid city noise.”

So Here’s What I Do

I try to take uncomfortable situations and embarrassing moments in stride too. Like the time I prepared a meal for twenty people, and it didn’t quite turn out. Or the time I met Andy Card, George W. Bush’s chief of staff, and embarrassed myself thoroughly. The office manager from the Republican office—where we volunteered—bragged to Mr. Card about my sons’ volunteer work. Thinking I deserved a little recognition as well, I took the moment to shine, but my words didn’t come out as I had planned. I piped up, hand grasping his in greeting, and proudly announced, “And I’m your mom!” meaning rather that I was the boys’ mother. It was an awkward moment that ended in silent nods between us. I’ve since recovered.

I have found that the sooner I make these small, daily annoyances into “nonissues,” the happier I am. These moments have a way of stealing the joy right out from underneath me, and in this case, ruining an amazing night on a cruise. This time, I remembered my “nonissue” mantra.

There is nothing quite so invigorating and joyous as to not cry over spilt milk.

BY PAULA NILSEN

 

Work Cited

Mirin, Ben. “Obsessions Birding.” National Geographic Traveler. January 2018.