Day 17

Give Thanks in Anxiety

from the Give Thanks reading plan


Habakkuk 3:17-19, Matthew 6:25-34, John 6:4-14, 1 Peter 5:6-7

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 3:17-19, Matthew 6:25-34, John 6:4-14, 1 Peter 5:6-7

Thinking back over the course of my life, I can’t remember a time when anxiety hasn’t been present. As an anxious kid, I used to stay up at all hours of the night, terrified that our house was going to burn down. Though wildfires aren’t normally a concern in Alabama, where I grew up, the fear of fire fed my anxiety throughout my childhood and shifted into other worries as I got older.

When I started driving, I worried about whether or not I’d closed the garage door after pulling out of the driveway. When I moved into my own apartment, I worried about whether I’d locked the door, or left the stovetop on, or—Oh my goodness, did I unplug my curling iron, or is it going to be sitting too close to that hand towel and burn the whole building down?

You get the idea.

The simplicity of the heading from today’s reading in Matthew 6 grabbed my attention and made me pause. “The Cure for Anxiety,” huh? If there is one, I sure haven’t found it, I thought. After so much time in therapy, I’d tried and failed to do the seemingly impossible: cure my anxiety.

I don’t know about you, but over the years, I’ve been taught that if I can just conjure up more faith, just pray more, the anxiety will go away. For a long time, I thought I was a “bad Christian” because I couldn’t just “let go and let God,” like all the inspirational quotes on Pinterest told me to.

Giving thanks in the midst of anxiety isn’t about a cure for worry or a band-aid for the bullet hole of thoughts spiralling out of control. It’s about recognizing the majesty, sovereignty, and power of the God we serve. This is what Jesus says to us about our anxiety:

“Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?” (Matthew 6:25–26).

As someone dealing with an anxiety disorder on a day-to-day basis, I know that if I take a minute to step back, place my feet firmly on the ground, and take a deep breath, I will find a great deal of comfort in these verses. There is comfort in the knowledge I serve a God who loves me and knows me more intimately than I could ever imagine—He knows exactly what I need (v.32). And so, even when my circumstances feel overwhelming, I can look to the God who sees me and calls me His own, and I can celebrate Him and the peace His salvation brings me (Habakkuk 3:18).

SRT-GiveThanks-Instagram-Day17

Ellen Taylor was born and raised in sweet home Alabama, but has called Nashville home since 2013. When she’s not working as the editorial assistant at She Reads Truth, you can find her enjoying good food and good conversation with her friends and family. She is a lover of cozy sweaters, ugly dogs, and the Oxford comma.

Post Comments (6)

6 thoughts on "Give Thanks in Anxiety"

  1. Karen says:

    Thank you Lord Jesus for covering me with your peace and comfort, especially during times of intense anxiety and worry. You are sovereign and Holy, the great Protector and Comforter. Thank you for shared experiences between us as humans. It is refreshing to know so many share the same struggles, yet that shows we are all created human and we can all reach to you for our source of strength and calm amidst daily worries.

  2. Dancee says:

    I love the “anxiety” verse…

    Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

    I have personally found this strategy to be the first step in “curing anxiety” along with changing your toxic thoughts with TRUTH.

    God is asking us to just talk to Him like you would talk to a friend or journal to better process your thinking. And I have been amazed at by how quickly just saying what you are thankful for, fear can be diminished.

    Proclaiming His Truth is always a good thing as well. Helps with dumping toxic thoughts.

    Anyways, I hope this helps someone and gives them hope because if someone like me…someone who was an anxious kid and struggled with major anxiety for 6years as an adult….can be free of anxiety, I know it’s possible for you too!

    I don’t mind emails if someone needs better guidance. I know how hard this can be. :)

    Love,
    Dancee

  3. Sarah says:

    I ALWAYS check those things before I leave my apartment!

  4. Alexandra Y. Hernandez says:

    Thank you, Ellen!

    I have struggled a lot with anxiety and, as you said, it can be difficult to “just let go and let God”. It’s comforting to be given a gentle reminder with your own struggles to redirect our attention to our God and His love for us. I have personally found that just focusing on God’s word can bring me some comfort and peace for my minor general anxiety. But I’ve also found myself, as you mentioned, turning to a “lifeline” section of scripture when the anxiety can just be overwhelming. I actually practiced this strategy as recently as this past Wednesday, and it has helped me, but I hope it can help others as well.

    Ellen, thank you again for sharing your struggles to gently remind us to give thanks even in anxiety. :)

  5. Sara says:

    I have also struggled alot with anxiety and felt like a “bad Christian “. It’s nice to know I am not alone in my experience. Thanks for sharing so openly. One of the practices that helps me is to remember how God has been faithful to me in the past and how he has redeemed hard seasons. It builds my confidence that he will be with me in the future and can bring beauty out of ashes.

  6. Kerry says:

    Thanks for this Ellen! As someone who has struggled with anxiety all my life its refreshing that you had the courage to share your experience and the struggle of dealing with “bad Christian” guilt when we become overwhelmed. These verses in Matthew have always been a lifeline for me and I love that giving thanks in the midst of anxiety isn’t about a cure all but redirecting our focus to a powerful God who cares for us.

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