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Facing Anxiety

If you watch the news on television or keep up with it through another media source, you have been told that Russia very easily could use nuclear weapons. I am pretty sure anyone my age or older can remember having nuclear attack drills at school. The drills would not have saved us, but they did give some semblance of comfort or did it. Anxiety is the inner torment due largely to our facing a future we cannot be certain of, facing something against which we are powerless, an unknown threat (perceived or actual) that is creating fear as well.

Anxiety can create mental illness. I am not an expert in the field, but I believe I can say that anxiety is not healthy. Anxiety can be crippling to our spiritual status. Anxiety does not equate with the goal of faith, a faith that tells us, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Lk. 12:25 ESV) For us, hopefully, we have grown in the direction of Paul who said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21 ESV)

When we are faced with a crisis, our body will react, it is the way it has been made. When faced with a threat we go into flight/fight mode. It is hard to be contemplative in such a state. All we have is our faith, developed and responsive rather than reactive, or our faith that survives through pain and unexplained reasons. So how do we meet the following expectation? Paul writes, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6 ESV)

How do we prepare? Hopefully, we have taken Scripture to heart, grasp the importance of prayer, and used the spiritual disciplines developed by the Saints gone before us to help us in our faith.

When Jesus was in the garden praying before his arrest, He faced anxiety. He knew when it hit he needed to pray. We are told he prayed, “not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt. 26:39 ESV) And then after he goes and finds his disciples asleep, Jesus goes back and prays the same prayer over. When we face a crisis, a threat, and anxiety rises, we need to be prepared to say from the depth of our hearts to our Lord and God, “not as I will, but as you will.”

We are entering a time of global anxiety. God gives peace to those who love God and who are willing to prepare now in order to be ready for whatever tomorrow or for that matter, the next hour holds.

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