Written By: Laci Swann
Our minds are constantly filled with ever-changing thoughts, new, creative ideas, complex questions and unfortunately (at times) anxiety-ridden focuses. When we focus on “what ifs” and what may go wrong in life, we immediately position ourselves to emotionally and mentally miss several moments, even days and sometimes weeks, of happiness and contentment. Anxiety, along with a few other sources, is a "thief of joy"—anxiety will undoubtedly steal your joy and allow emotion to rule over truth. And the truth is, worrying about what is out of our control, or even what is within our control, is not the life God intended us to live.
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Rather than worry, He wants us to come to Him with our anxieties and concerns so He can relieve the burden: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Through bringing my needs and concerns to God, I will find fulfillment, joy and contentment.
Recently, my family and I moved into a new home. Our first home, actually! The excitement of moving into our new home was overshadowed by overwhelming feelings of anxiety about having to unpack, alone, while my husband traveled for work. I have a toddler to care for and I’m six months pregnant, so knowing I had to unpack and move boxes, alone, overpowered my spirit with a profound sense of anxiety and fear.
What am I supposed to do? I thought.
I can’t lift half of these boxes and I have no one to call for help! I stressed.
How will I settle us into our home before our baby arrives? I questioned.
Well, one morning during my hectic moving process, my husband asked if we could video chat, but this time he did not want to chit chat; he wanted to pray. During our call, my husband reminded me that a faithful Christian relies more on the Lord than he or she relies on the comfort of anxious thoughts. Through bringing my needs and concerns to God, I will find fulfillment, joy and contentment.
God wants to carry our burdens and free us from anxiety because he cares for us!
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“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). So, I took my husband’s advice and prayed—I spoke to God about everything weighing on my mind. That same afternoon, my spirit felt more at ease and I began feeling foolish for even worrying in the first place. Here I was, in a new, safe home, yet I was worrying about unpacking!
Although anxious thinking is not unusual, anxiety certainly affects our ability to live our best life.
Anxiety is like a thief in the night, stealing our concentration and placing a wedge between our ability to joyously live life and remember His promise to give us peace.
Anxiety demands our attention which pulls our thought process further away from focusing on the Lord and His graciousness. After all, anxious thoughts are rarely positive, if ever at all, and anxiety confines our lives to a perpetual state of agony, and worse, fear.
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Expecting anyone to never worry again is unrealistic. As flawed humans, we are bound to worry from time to time! However, when we learn to bring our fears, worries and concerns to God in the form of prayer, we can begin to rest assure that our heavenly Father will tend to all of our needs, freeing us from anxiety.
So, when you feel yourself consumed with worry, ask yourself, “Are my thoughts too strong to shake?” If the answer is “yes,” lean on the Lord. Apprehend the thief and free your mind of the imprisonment which anxiety tends to bring. He is waiting to guide you back to joy.