Give Thanks in Anxiety
Open Your Bible
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).
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.