High Anxiety

Worry, anxiety, and stress.

Life in the new millennium is now more stressful than ever.
War, terrorism, politics, money, chaos, violence, uncertainty…our world is unraveling before our eyes.
And the stress of it all is becoming increasingly harder to manage and get away from.
We also have our own anxiety with school and work, as well as personal issues involving our identity, health, family, relationships and love (or the lack of it), to name a few.
Life right now is just very stressful and as we read the paper and watch the tube, it is all becoming overwhelming.
At every turn is bad news, terror alerts, health warnings, higher cost of living, criminals on the loose...Yikes!

Unfortunately this uncertainty will always be around.
Life is just a bit tougher than it was way back when in the good old days.

Or maybe it’s always been like this.
Either way, the uncertainty in our hearts is building within us a little more every day.
And all of our anxiety and stress amount to fear.
Fear of everything.
Whether owing money, dealing with people, meeting deadlines, or losing life as we know it, we are afraid that everything is closing in on us.
We want life to get better not worse.

Recent studies of centenarians, (people who live to and past 100) have shown that how a person deals with stress is a major factor in their longevity. Centenarians have been shown to be able to handle and deal with stress in an optimistic healthy manner, while their younger more negatively stressed neighbor may be ready to kick the bucket. Their research also show that belief in God is a positive factor for those who live longer.1 This just goes to show that God doesn’t mean for us to be burdened.

And I'm sure when God created us, we weren't meant to work 40+ hour weeks, be bombarded with media noise and social pressure, fear everything around us and worry about what will happen next. We were originally meant to rely on God for everything, but we've taken that job away from Him and taken the burden onto ourselves. But not without paying with the price of stress and anxiety.

Many of us reserve prayer for important things like illness, major catastrophes or impending doom in our lives. But most of us would never think to ask God to help us with our daily worries, anxieties and stress because we think these are normal things we have to go through.

We have the ability to petition Him with prayers and supplication for all of our concerns because basically He doesn't want us to be overwhelmed by our anxiety, but free of them. He wants His people trusting Him, happy and living in faith.

The most important thing after prayer is trust and belief in God to do what is best for us. Though He may or may not do for you what you envision Him to do, learn to wait on Him and know He has your good in mind.

But the hardest thing for us to do is let go of our worries.
We think that worrying is good, that it keeps us watchful of everything around us. Awareness may help us take all the precautions to prevent things from going awry, but it will not take away the fear that stays in our hearts despite everything we have done to make us feel more secure. Our fears are always in the back of our minds. We are accustomed to worrying as a part of daily life, but humans were not meant to be continously on alert, living under fear and stress, 24 hours a day.

Worrying really amounts to not trusting in God to do the right thing.
t also means we have been sucked into the world and its way of thinking.
When we worry, we are saying to God, “I don’t think You will take care of me like I think I should be taken care of.”
God wants us to give Him ALL of our concerns and worries.
By not trusting our lives to God, we actually do leave ourselves open for all things to happen to us, because we choose to deal with things our own way and not God’s.

First we need to let Him know everything on our minds and hearts, whether its fear of terrorism, or making next month’s rent.
Go to the Lord and dump all your concerns at His feet. And yes. He knows everything already anyway, but He wants to hear it from you.
Conversations strengthen our relationship with God.

Second, we need to acknowledge that God is greater than all of it.
God is greater than not having health insurance. He is greater than being unemployed. He is greater than losing everything in your life. This is why we can trust Him, because He is greater than everything.

And third, we need to hand all of our, worries, anxieties and stress over to Him.
By telling the Lord your concerns and then trusting Him, you are releasing them from your tight grasp and putting them directly into His hands.
“Here they are Lord, that’s everything. I can’t do anything about them. Take them from me and give me peace to know that You're in control.”

In this way, the Lord is able to show you He is real.

Of course trusting Him also involves us doing our part.
We need to follow His commandments of love and walk in His Spirit daily in humbleness, repentance and servitude.
And mind you, things may appear to get worse or not change at all, but stand firm because He wants your faith to grow and He desires you to trust Him no matter what is happening around you because He has greater plans for you.
Your faith in Him will allow Him to work behind the scenes in your life.
His way of answering you is not just to remove your stress, but through patience, and faith, you can grow to live your life in victory without fear.

Have peace in God knowing that He is completely in charge of everything.

So now that you have given all to Him, breathe a deep sigh,
relax your tight shoulders and let all of those worries float away.
I know it sounds unbelievable, but it really can be that easy.
That’s the way He’s always wanted it to be.

"And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?" -Matthew 6:27



1.Centenarians: Want to Live to be 100? http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/5722/54204

© 2004 Edrick

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