“Stop being anxious.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Anxiety makes you stupid.”
“Stop being afraid.”
“Everything is going to be fine.”
“Just quit thinking about it.”
Have you ever had someone say phrases like that to you? It’s usually well intended, but not what you want to hear. Right?
The more I see anxiety haunt young people, and to be honest, the more I’ve let anxiety haunt me (and those I love), the more seriously I take the subject. My heart is softened toward those who experience anxiety.
I’ve learned that when someone is experiencing anxiety, they usually don’t need to hear a concise and simple solution from me. Telling someone in an anxious state to “stop bein anxious” actually makes it worse. So I tend to steer away from simple answers and to listen with empathetic eyes.
It is near impossible to talk someone out of their anxiety through a logical evaluation.
BUT! I hope you’re still reading this. BUT, God has something amazing to say about anxiety.
Check this out:
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
If you’re like me, you might read, do not be anxious about anything, and automatically think: Who does this person think he is? Anxiety is a complicated thing!
But here’s what makes me smile and gives me divine hope: God said that.
Let that sink in for a minute…
God is not intimidated by what causes you anxiety or fear.
God fully understands your situation and is not overwhelmed by it.
God is not afraid to simply say to you, “do not be anxious”.
It’s because he has the authority, power, and position to speak simply about it.
He is God.
He has the authority to tell your fear to go back to hell.
He has the power to challenge whatever challenges you.
He is in the position to offer you divine peace in exchange for your anxiety.
That sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me!
So give thanks for what you have. Bring your anxiety to him in prayer. Petition others to pray for you as well. And wait for God’s peace, which transcends logical understanding, to rest on you.
Do not be anxious, because the Lord is near.
Grace & Peace to you,