Weekly Thought – November 15, 2022
Fred thought, wrote, and spoke much about maturity. He considered the understanding and disciplining of emotions a significant factor. His words written in the 1980s and 1990s certainly address current issues. These words on anxiety are an example of his timeless (and timely) quality.
Everywhere we turn we hear “we live in anxious times.” Feeling this way has become so normal it is even socially correct. Those who don’t see life this way are considered “not with it.” TV ads tell us how to handle anxiety – not running through horror movie commercial breaks, but during the nightly news.
Even our intellectuals hold out the idea that “we live out our lives in quiet desperation.” We look to our churches for the quiet center often failing to find it.
I was personally helped by a friend who reminded me, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” is not a suggestion, but a command. A command assumes the possibility of obedience and this gave me a new point of attack. The battle isn’t won easily, nor quickly, but when we believe it can be won we are half-way there.
Floating anxiety is quite prevalent in these days. It doesn’t seem to attach itself to anything recognizable – we seem plagued with “just a feeling” that things are not right, with more trouble on the way.
When we cannot locate the reason for this discomfort we need to assess possible causes. First, we should try to become as secure as we can by reviewing our relations with those who matter most. After reviewing relations, we must look at our financial condition to see if there are any specific item which draw these feelings. Also, check out physical well-being for symptoms such as fatigue. Have we been neglecting our exercise, eating too many sweets, or avoiding other healthy habits? If we get a clean bill of health then are we doing something we know is wrong which might make us fear judgment – judgment of any kind – a spouse, our boss, or even God?
If this check-up doesn’t isolate specifically the reason for the anxiety, it at least establishes a sense of security in major areas of our life and provides a counterbalance for the uneasiness that floating anxiety storm.
One way to help is to read security Bible verses. This sounds like a crutch, and it is. For during anxious times I am crippled and who needs a crutch more than that? God never said for us to keep our Bible reading for the sunny days. He is a God of comfort.
These are times to call on the good sense of our past experience. Mary Alice often told our adolescent children (particularly the girls), “This, too, will pass.” Many times we simply have to pull our head in like a turtle and let the rain pass over.
It is especially important that we not let anxiousness about our anxiety feed on itself and synergize a molehill into a mountain. Remember, we have anxiety because we are humans living in an imperfect world. It is normal. We can help ourselves once we develop the desire and willpower to implement sensible procedures.
Now, as my good friend Steve Brown says in closing all his teaching times, “Now you think about that.”
This week carefully consider: 1) How often does floating anxiety affect me? 2) What would my personal check up look like? 3) When I am anxious which Bible verses give me strength and comfort?
Words of Wisdom: “God never said to save our Bible reading for sunny days.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down, but an encouraging word brings him joy. (Proverbs 12: 25 NET Bible)