I'm going to be gut-level honest here ...
Despite all the “positive talk” I’ve been trying to put out there, I’m eaten up with anxiety.
My anxiety has two foci – they might not be what you think, but I’ll bet many of you may be able to relate.
My husband is in the high-risk category for Covid-19.
My son, who lives with us, is an essential worker.
My mind insists on putting those two things together and causing me a great deal of anxiety.
A little history here – my husband has had strange allergies all his life, but the most critical one is to alcohol. Even the slightest little bit will make him sicker than sick and send us to the ER at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he spent about six months with necrotizing pancreatitis five years ago. He nearly died, and about 60% of people who have what he has, do. It was a harrowing time for both of us. Of course, he was horribly sick (fortunately he doesn’t remember it all) most of that time. But I remember it – every gut-wrenching moment of traveling to Hershey every day, of watching Pete struggle, of fearing for his life.
During that time, I repeatedly implored my personal and Facebook community for prayer, and I felt uplifted. Better, Pete eventually, against all odds, healed. Prayer and the love of my community of believers is what made this happen.
Second piece – our oldest son is a warehouse worker in Carlisle. His warehouse meets the requirements for staying open during this quarantine. People need their online orders. Especially now.
But me? I’m eaten up with anxiety.
Wonderful preacher David Platt from McLean Bible Church in McLean, Virginia, has defined anxiety and worry as “carrying concerns in this world in such a way that we lose perspective on life and/or lack trust in God.”
That describes it perfectly.
I don’t mean to mistrust God. That’s definitely not my goal. In fact, my goal is to trust Him with my whole heart.
And yet that’s so hard.
Platt urges us to look at the birds. Even though I’ve read Matthew 6:25-33 many times, I never thought of this analogy. Here’s the verse:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)
As I write, I’m looking outside my second-story window, and I can see a tree branch. A mourning dove is perched on the branch – then she flies away. Later, I see her joined by a male mourning dove. Yesterday, it was a pair of robins. I’ve also seen a blackbird there.
Not one of them appears anxious in any way. They are just going about the tasks of the day with perfect peace that God is in control and will provide for them.
So the answer for me is to go to the birds. Literally.
God is in control. I am not. When anxiety burdens my heart, I am trying to think of those feathered creatures, the ones with trust I envy.
Be blessed, folks, and safe and well,
Sanctuary Christian Counseling
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We help grieving individuals, distressed teens and couples in conflict find peace, solutions and connection.