Who’s Dealing With Anxiety? Everyone
Anxiety is a word we hear often these days – because so many people are struggling with it. We know there are different kinds of anxiety, some of which disrupt our lives. It can be characterized by panic, sleep issues, racing thoughts, and more. One article I read suggested that about 31% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder in their lives, making it one of the most common mental health conditions in our country. There is no shame in seeking mental health help for feelings of anxiety that are out of control – so do that if you suffer from that kind of anxiety.
On a lower level, there is a type of anxiety that is commonly called worry. If you don’t have an overwhelming anxiety disorder, you certainly know what it means to worry. There are so many things that trigger the restlessness, distracting thoughts, and focus on the things that can go wrong. We worry about our children, our finances, our marriages, our work … anything we are concerned about can morph into a sense of worry.
Apostle Paul had many things he could be worried about. He was in prison, but not for a crime. He wanted to be out sharing the gospel, but was in chains. On his heart were many churches and Christians who he knew needed his help and encouragement. So he had a lot to worry about, but he wrote something that should help us in stressful times.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
He encourages us to turn to God when all of the concerns of life are weighing us down. In his writings, the Bible tells us what to do with our anxiety, our worry: Present your requests to God, and we do that along with thanksgiving.
When we are dealing with worry, it may seem an odd time to be thankful – but shifting our attention to our blessings and the things for which we are grateful reminds us that God is present, he hears, he is moved by our prayers, and he loves us. That may not answer every question we have, but it does give us a pathway forward.
Who’s dealing with anxiety? Everyone. Who needs to pray and be thankful? Everyone. When should we start? How about now!