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).


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 (15)

15 thoughts on "Give Thanks in Anxiety"

  1. Kylie says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Knowing so many people share the same struggles proves that we are all created humans, and we can all reach out for our sources of strength and calm amidst daily worries.

  2. Tiffany Taylor says:

    “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
    ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    this command is so challenging to obey each time but I love that it doesn’t stop at do not be anxious about anything. It provides a “what to do instead” and the promise of God’s presence which is certainly a cure-all. And so I’m thankful that God knows that anxiety is real and when it comes He meets us in it and walks us through it until we our hearts and our minds are wrapped in the peace that He gives us through our Prince of Peace.

  3. Tree says:

    Loved and encouraged by this one. I. The current season of a pandemic worry seems to be at the for front and this was a reminder that no a simple verse isn’t gonna fix it all but it can help me step back and remember who is in control and that alone can bring so much comfort

  4. Molly Gilbane says:

    Lord, there is so much comfort knowing that You love and know me more intimately than I could ever imagine. You know exactly what I need. Your timing is perfect. I humble myself before you. I cast my anxieties at Your feet. You alone are worthy! You alone have the power to set me free from the limitations (a product of doubt, worry, and fear) I place in my life. I relinquish it all to You. I relinquish control to You. There is a season for every chapter of our journey. This season is a season of rest, of recuperation. Please help me to embrace this season with open arms and to let go of any guilt and/or anxiety. I love you, Lord.

  5. Elizabeth Cowan says:

    As a lifelong anxiety sufferer, this really resonated with me. I have always found that passage in Matthew a challenge.

  6. Carol M says:

    The verses from Habakkuk 3: 17-19 came alive for me when a visiting Bishop from Zimbabwe brought a message to our church body on this passage… I still have tears when I remember his words… basically just restating these verses… the suffering church there is living this reality. We visited the country in 2002… the physical situation has only gotten worse, BUT God’s people are clinging to His Word, the churches are growing… they are trusting… a beautiful example to me!!!

  7. Michelle Wakama says:

    Thanks for this Ellen. Habakkuk encourages us to take our eyes off our difficulties and focus on God especially in times when nothing makes senses and our troubles seem unbearable, remembering that God is the giver of strength.

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