One night, several months ago, I laid awake trying to calm my anxious mind. The struggle with anxiety has been a pretty constant battle in my life, so this scenario was all too common for me. I was desperate to sleep, but couldn’t stop the anxiety and fear. Suddenly, a few well known scriptures came to mind.
There are so many verses in the Bible that, I’m afraid, have lost a lot of meaning because they are overused, used out of context, or they are said without care, like someone trying to haphazardly slap a bandaid over a broken bone thinking that will magically make it better. But, that night two scriptures rehearsed themselves in my mind:
Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself,” and Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Rather than continuing to dwell on the anxiety, I felt God saying to turn my anxiety into prayer. So, I then found myself turning the very thing I was anxious about into a prayer by asking God to show up, to lead me, to teach me, and to do the miraculous. With the rehearsing of that scripture and the anxiety turned into prayer, peace flooded my mind and I fell asleep.
Maybe you’re like me – sometimes you lay in bed trying to sleep, but all you can do is worry. Maybe it’s over your bank account, or the details of a cringy mistake you made that day, a week ago, years ago, or the next day’s challenges. Anxiety is a real thing. It is prevalent in our culture, especially in the times we have been in the last two years.
Anxiety is a real thing. It is prevalent in our culture, especially in the times we have been in the last two years.
This is a personal opinion, but I think most of our anxiety stems from two things:
Take a moment to read Matthew 6:19-34.
A lot of anxiety in our world today is from this little thing called money. Jesus tells His followers to not bother storing up treasures on earth because those things won’t last. He tells His followers we can’t have Him and our love for money at the same time; we have to pick one. I imagine His disciples wondering to themselves, “If we pick Jesus how will we get money to feed and clothe our family?” “Don’t worry,” Jesus says, as if to read their minds, “If God cares for the birds and lilies He’ll care for you too.”
Take a moment to read Philippians 4:4-9.
Relationships can cause so much anxiety. In verses 2 and 3 Paul mentions two women by name in the church of Philippi who are not getting along. He asks them to stop and get along. Then, he asks the church to help them. Paul says, “Be grateful, get along, and don’t be anxious, make your request to God and peace will come.” What does this anxiety look like? Fear of what people think of you, fear of having a hard conversation, fear of being rejected, jealousy, comparison, etc.
Reread the above scriptures and process these following questions:
- What are you most anxious about right now?
- Money? Relational issue?
- How can you turn that anxiety over to Jesus?
- Sometimes it requires action on our end. Do you need to share the anxiety with someone? Do you need to humble yourself and forgive someone? What about the reminder that money that it is not your god?
- Meditate on Psalm 46.
Written By: Karen