Weather report from heaven: Sunny and bright with an abundance of light, and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 4:6-7
Insight: If I had to pick a single word that best describes the mood of almost everyone I talk to these days it would be anxious. Anxious about the future, anxious about Covid, anxious about what’s happening to our Country, anxious about the deceitfulness of the media, anxious about their kids school, anxious about our political leaders. Basically, people are anxious about everything. The one thing that people from all walks of life, all socio-economic and ethnic- backgrounds can agree upon is that they are anxious. The rich are anxious as well as the poor, the Blacks and Latinos and Asians and the Caucasians are all equally anxious. In fact, the grip of anxiety is being felt worldwide. We have a giant staring us right in the face, but we can’t even see it. It’s a microscopic virus that is reeking havoc, and we feel helpless to fight an enemy that we can’t even see. It would seem like Goliath would be much easier to deal with, because at least that giant was visible. News is always on our mobile devices, and often it offers conflicting information that creates even more anxiety. Who can you trust anymore? Don’t you just want to take your mobile phone and smash it into little pieces sometimes, and go back to life how it used to be when we didn’t have access to this constantly “on” newsfeed that just makes us more confused and anxious, and we actually had conversations and connections with people that were much deeper than most of our online encounters are today?
So the entire world is anxious, but the question becomes what can we do about it? How can we alleviate our anxiety? The only answer I have found is to cling to the promises found in the Bible. The scripture above from Phillipians 4:6-7 gives us a roadmap on how to at least begin. We are to admit to God that we need Him and that these issues which are making us anxious are way above our pay grade. We need to bring our anxiety to God and lay it at His feet. We must constantly be communicating with God, through prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, and repeatedly bring our requests to God. It can sound something like this: “Lord, I am so anxious right now about all the things happening in the world all around me, of which I have no control over, and I need you. Please protect me, and grant me peace in my heart. Please take these burdens off of my back and place them onto yours, for I know you God alone are big enough to handle them. I admit that you have always helped me in the past to get through tough circumstances, and I need you again, this time more than ever. I see no other way through this Lord, so please rescue me.” I then like to rely on His promises of protection found in Psalm 91 and His promises of rest found in Matthew 11:28-30.
During such anxious days on the earth, we must recognize how big our God is, in order for our problems to become smaller. Big God= small problems, however when we try to fix our own problems or deal with anxiety in our own way, we make God really small, which makes our problems seem really big. Many are turning to narcotics and alcohol to numb their anxieties and worry during these times, but we must realize that is only a temporary elixir and it is like putting a band-aid on a broken leg. It will not make the underlying problem, in this case our anxiety, go away. It will only temporarily delay it, but once the buzz wears off, we will be forced to face the stark reality of our anxiety all over again. God and His word are the only real solutions we have to take away the anxiety we are all experiencing. We must follow the prompting of scripture and know that He is enough and He is our only resource capable of fighting this battle for us and winning it. Proverbs 3:5-6 gives us the proper mindset for how to fight this battle when it says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Prayer: Father God, we admit how tough life is right now for all of us, and acknowledge that we are full of anxiety and we need you. Remove our anxiety through your words found in the Bible, and touch us with the unrivaled power of your Holy Spirit to grant us the peace we need to make it through each day ahead. Without you Lord, we have no hope. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen!