“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25 ESV
Anxiety weighs a man down but a word of encouragement brings relief.
Many individuals find it very hard to overcome anxiety. It comes upon them unexpectantly and involuntarily. They become overwhelmed with the feelings of being out of control and being over taken by the unfortunate outcomes of tomorrow. For those individuals anxiety is an everyday part of their lives but how does one find relief?
Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Anxiety can destroy the joy of today in anticipation of a problem tomorrow. It removes us from the present and keeps our mind and energy focused on the “what if” of tomorrow or an upcoming event. Jesus made it clear not to worry about tomorrow.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34
Here are three steps that will not alleviate anxiety but can provide some relief.
1. Find enjoyment in the small things of everyday life. It is important that we focus on the present pleasures and activities of today. These would include the quite moments of sitting on the back porch enjoying our favorite cup of coffee. They would involve having a conversation with the ones we love, our children, spouse, and a friend. For me it involves taking a drive or spending a few moments early in the morning at the local coffee shop. Look for the simple moments to keep you focused on the present.
2. Focus on the task of today. One thing I have found helpful in remaining focused on today is to plan out my weekly schedule. For me this weekly planning takes place on Sunday nights before the beginning of the week. At this time I plan out the activities and task of the week. When I get to each day I have a task before me. It helps me focused on the present task and it helps me to leave future tasks and worries for a later time. They will be there when I get there because I have taken the time to schedule them.
3. Allow the Word of God to speak into your daily life. This may be the last on my list but it is the most essential. Wayne Caldereo in his book, Divine Mentor, relates the Word of God as guidance from mentors. Each day, as we open the Word of God, we allow our Biblical mentors to speak into our life. At those times we are reminded by the Psalmist to “rest upon the Lord for he cares for you”. We hear the words of Christ to “take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is lite.” All these are “good words” that we read about in today’s passage.
Anxiety can not be thought away, so let’s put some action to our thoughts on a daily basis so we can remain focused on the present and set aside the worries of tomorrow or in the next hour for a later time.
Lord remind me of your presence and power over anxiety. May I find rest in you for I know every moment is in your hands.