Have you ever had so many things going so well for you but yet you still experienced anxiety? This is the insane aspect of our fallen nature. We are far too easily displeased and never fully content. This is something that I am constantly battling with every single day.
I am putting in grace-empowered into worship rather than worry, into active obedience rather than passive complacency, into relying on Jesus rather than my own functional gods. What is crazy though is that when your spiritual disciplines deteriorate, anxiety begins to creep in. Anxiety sometimes even kicks in when you are in the middle of your disciplines – when you are in the middle of your prayer time – when you are reading Scripture – when you are conversing with others about the beauty of the gospel.
What do you do precisely at that moment? What do you personally do when the worries of the world seem to crash down upon you? Where do you turn and to what do you run at that specific moment? I do not want to make this post hyper spiritual. I do not think you want to read some ethereal platitudes, disconnected from the real daily grind each one of us goes through.
Here is what is currently happening in my life, related to this subject of worry, anxiousness and uncertainty. There is absolutely nothing for me to be anxious about honestly. But it still continues to creep in, which is nonsense and I know the gospel is powerful enough to break through it. I currently find myself in the absolute busiest season of my entire life. Coincidentally it is probably the most exciting season that I have yet to experience. I finally finished seminary back in May. I have had tremendous opportunities offered to me for the spread of the gospel. My relationship with my wife is at the best place it has ever been. We are absolute best friends and continue to live and love life together. I love the church where I am currently at. It is healthy and is continuing to be built by Jesus for His glory. I love the young people who I work alongside with. They are showing tremendous maturity and gospel-centered growth. This excites me beyond belief. Entirely by grace I was able to enter in to a new job venture recently. It is both challenging and invigorating, all at the same time.
Because of all of the above, my mind is constantly racing a million miles a minute. My thoughts are exploding with the various projects that I have going on and projects that are yet to come to fruition. So needless to say, it is an extremely exciting time and I am thankful to God for it. But even with everything good that is going on, I keep worrying about what the future will bring. I know I should not be. I keep re-reading my own advice and am following it flawlessly. I know I need to relinquish my burdens, albeit pleasant ones, upon my heavenly Father. This is why these words of Jesus have been the banner under which I have been functioning these last few months. I just can’t get them out of my mind. This is a good thing. I am perpetually reminding myself of these words from Jesus. Here is what he said in the gospel of Matthew, specifically chapter 26, verses 25-34:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to hisspan of life?And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Forthe Gentiles seek after all these things, andyour heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Butseek firstthe kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
That last verse is on repeat mode in my life. I am craving this verse. I am constantly feeding my soul on this verse. I want it desperately to become a reality in my life. And it is. Here is the difference though between me and Jesus – and I am thankful for these differences:
I want everything fast, quickly and expediently — Jesus wants me to wait, to think about, and to contemplate
I love to reply to emails, text messages, fb notifications, comments and demands for my attention with lighting fast speed and almost no delay – Jesus wants me to first think about what I am saying, to react from a gospel-centered position and to be content with others who are not so quick on the draw
I want to know results and statistics instantly, as I finish a project or even a few moments before closure – Jesus wants me to not worry about tomorrows results, to not worry about tomorrows statistics, to not worry about the approval of men but rather that I would have a deep burden to seek His will.
I want to know what my clients will say to my proposal instantly – Jesus wants me to chill out and spend time in His word – tomorrow will worry about itself.
I am planning out my hour, my week, my month, my year and my ten-year plan is in the works – Jesus says to me “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”
When we hurry through life at a breakneck speed, we miss out on all the beautiful things that are happening right next to us – but because we are too busy checking our blinking lights and our buzzing sounds – we miss out – and even though we are still living today, our mind is taking over tomorrow.
Jesus desires that we be completely satisfied in Him, in the current moment. We must consciously be aware of our dependence upon Him. Only He can give us rest and respite that we desire and so often seek in other things.
Question: How are you personally taking control of your schedule so that it does not begin to control you? What are your general thoughts about anxiety and worry?