“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Antidote for Anxiety
(Please read Philippians 4:6-7)
Financial matters, serious or persistent illness, our children, the fragile state of peace in the world, the continuous lowering of moral standards, and dozens of other things we could bring to mind. That’s a lot to worry about!
So let’s be glad that we don’t have to do it. When we worry, we imagine terrible outcomes for whatever situation is bothering us, and mentally live through the whole scenario time after time. It’s better to wait and, if the worst happens, experience it only once.
Paul’s admonition here echoes Christ’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about” a number of things, Jesus said, and added, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” He also spoke of the relatively carefree life of birds and flowers, and made it clear that we are much more valuable than they. (See Matthew 6:25-34.)
How do we go about quashing the anxiety that seems so natural to us? The answer seems to be tied to our faith, so we indeed need to “seek first” the kingdom of God. Since we can’t see the end from the beginning, we have to trust him take care of the matter. Without such trust, the world would have been bereft of the gospel, for those heroes of the faith who went forth fearlessly to preach Christ would have stayed home instead.
Our ability to be free from anxiety will depend largely on whether we have the faith to turn matters over to God, as Paul exhorted. There we will find the help we need.