This a memory from 2020 during the COVID lockdown. I think the lessons are still applicable.
Back in 2019 I suggested to our grow group that we do a study “Anxious for nothing” that Max Lucado has prepared. It is on how to deal with anxiety.
The study focuses on Paul’s letter to the Philippians 4:5-8.
I highly recommend this study. I have mentioned it in my posts before and do so again today.
Why mention it again? Well, because taking that course and studying those verses hasn’t meant that I am now anxiety free. In the last 2 months Life’s anxiety dial has gotten cranked to 11. The course doesn’t teach us how to avoid anxiety, it teaches us how to deal with it when it comes. The way to deal with anxiety is given in the verses in Philippians.
“Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4:5-8 – NLT
There are 2 parts of this that I keep forgetting. The first I keep forgetting, and it is essential for my heart and soul and spirit, is yes to pray about everything, AND be thankful for all that God has done already. I forget to be thankful.
The second part I forget to do is to fix my thoughts on the good things. “what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise”
I keep peeking into the news, looking for bright spots but get sucked into blood clots, and death Rates and who gets it worse, etc. just writing those things kicked up the anxiety levels. But the news is not my reality.
My reality is this: I’m sitting in a warm-ish basement, on a very comfortable couch, I’m listening to my sprinklers sprinkle my lawn, my dog snore, the birds sing, a heater in my bathroom heating where there is a flush toilet AND at least another couple of days supply of toilet paper.
Not everyone reading this has life this good. Some have it worse and some have it better. I need to maintain an attitude of thankfulness to God because he is God. I owe him my very existence.
There are good things to think about and I have to actively guard my thoughts to focus on the good. I recently saw a Facebook post of a proud father helping his son rope a calf. There was a lot of motion and action and determined concentration for everyone involved. It’s like that. Active motion. Thoughtful and mindful thinking. Concentration. I have to police my thoughts like that young man policed his calf.
So here I am confessing I failed- again. I’ve been worried and anxious. I have been ungrateful. The Forgive me father. Thank you for all that you have done in my past and are doing right now in my present and all that you will do in my future. Help me stay in a state of gratitude and thankfulness and to be amazed at all you have done and are doing all around me and even inside me.