Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
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.
I recently read what I thought was some good advice about anxiety from Dr. Caroline Leaf. She says “Stop trying to run away from anxiety because it’s futile. Rather, spend that energy learning to listen to what that anxiety is trying to alert you to and deal with that issue so you can find freedom and not make your mind a prison”
The verses that we are focusing on today instruct us not be anxious. There is a difference between having anxious thoughts and being anxious. As indicated in the above quote from Dr. Leaf, it’s impossible to stop anxious thoughts from coming into our heads. But “being” anxious, or living in a state of anxiety, is something that we are warned against in these verses and is also widely agreed upon as an unhealthy way to live.
So how do you listen to anxious thoughts and “deal with the issue and find freedom”, as Dr. Leaf suggests? The answer is found here in these bible verses, but of course, it’s sometimes easier said than done. There are certainly times when I’ve found myself rehashing my anxious thoughts under the guise of prayer.
But I’ve also found that when I truly bring my burdened heart to God in prayer and then remind myself of His uncanny ability to work things out time and time again, there is that peace that descends to guard my troubled heart.
How grateful I am to know that there is someone, our Father God, who is so big and so powerful looking after everything on our behalf, both great and small. “Be still and know that He is God”
He is God and I am not, so today, once again I leave my burdens in His supremely capable hands.
Written by Shelley Witt