“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down.” (Proverbs 12:25a AMP)
Worry and anxiety are bedfellows that often show up together.
Kelita sat in her car, gunning the engine but going nowhere. There was good reason. The gearshift was in neutral. She burned fuel and fogged up the garage in which the car rested, but she remained in place.
Hearing the noise, her father finally came out of the door and asked, “What are you doing, honey?”
“Trying to get to work,” she huffed.
“But you have to put the shifter in gear to make the car move,” he said.
Seems like a silly scenario — and it is — but often I repeat Kelita’s mistake by worrying. Worry and anxiety will keep me in the garage, burning fuel, but going nowhere. In the process, I will also pollute the world around me, accomplishing nothing beneficial.
In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, “Do not worry”, and the wisest man who ever lived said that anxiety would weigh my heart down. But situations in my life and in the world make both easy to do. And since they are first cousins, the first is normally followed closely by the second.
Worry and anxiety in small doses are good — not detrimental. If I had such an attitude that I never worried or was anxious in the least, I’d sit around and not properly respond to situations. If I didn’t worry a little about crime, homelessness, abuse, and corruption, I wouldn’t respond to opportunities to affect these circumstances as Jesus instructs me to do.
On the other hand, too much worry and anxiety will disturb me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The human body is connected, not compartmentalized. What touches one part of me distresses the other parts. When I’m emotionally unbalanced, I’ll experience physical consequences.
Remembering that God is in control and is a loving God helps me to manage worry and anxiety so that they don’t afflict me negatively. As the sovereign ruler, God controls world events and the details of my life. As a loving God, He won’t allow anything into my life that He won’t give me the strength to face, conquer, and learn from.
Let’s not allow worry and anxiety to keep us in the garage. God’s shoulders are strong enough to carry us wherever He wants us to go.
Prayer: Father, we trust You to help us endure whatever You allow or bring into our lives. Amen.
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission