Recently as I’ve talked with friends here in Catania and we have shared with one another the areas in our lives that we have had difficulty, both I and the others have talked about something that we have held in common. I wish I could say that it has been a good thing that we have in common, but unfortunately it isn’t. It is anxiety.
Our anxiousness has generally been over what is happening in our lives. For example, how am I going to pay for this or that? Or what will come next for me? What will my livelihood look like in 6 months? How am I going to move forward in my ministry work so that it becomes what I hope for it to be?
These can be natural and healthy questions…but they can also be sources of consistent concern and worry, leading to anxiety when we don’t have answers to those questions.
That anxiousness has characterized my life, certainly, and in our recent discussions, I discovered that I am not the only one. Instead of depending on God to answer the questions, instead of continuing to put the questions to him and waiting for him to answer, my mind – our minds – have continued to swirl to look for answers to the questions ourselves.
Today as I opened the Bible and read, I read this from Paul:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 4:4-7
There is an antidote to anxiousness. It is that we should rejoice in what God has done for us. What could come against us that could truly hurt us if we are in the Lord? He is near, so we shouldn’t be anxious but instead continue to pray and ask God for each thing that we need. He knows what we need and he an fulfill each request if it is his will and the timing is what he desires.
So today is a reminder to me. Don’t be anxious, but rejoice in what he has done and put every request before God until he answers.