Thursday, July 12, 2012

Anxious Living by Martin Wiles

I opened the letter slowly, noting the return address. My employer’s name glared at me and since it was spring of the year, I imagined bad news.

Sure enough, I wasn’t offered a contract for the next school year. The economy had slowed and funds were cut from the district’s operating budget. Unnecessary help had to go. Having recently lost a career and remembering how difficult it was to find the present job, my anxiety level rose significantly. I had bills to pay and children to care for.

The next two months were consumed with filling out employment applications, undergoing interviews, making my unemployment check stretch to the limit and praying for God to act. Eventually he did, and interestingly he put me where I met my future wife.

Jesus’ friend Martha knew a little about anxious living. Jesus stopped for a visit with her and her siblings only to be questioned about his concern over her having to do everything while her sister did nothing but listen to him teach.

She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40). Mary discovered the only thing we should be anxious about-our spiritual focus.

Jesus tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:25) and Paul says we shouldn’t be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6-7). Anxiety is debilitating emotionally, physically and spiritually. But believing God is in control of our life’s details, seeking his guidance through prayer and thanking him in all circumstances brings a mind altering peace that’s beyond understanding but comforting nevertheless. Let God help you handle the anxious moments.

Prayer: Merciful Lord, when our anxiety levels rise calm them with Your soothing peace.
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