Thursday, December 13, 2012

do not be anxious

we lived in a hotel suite for 3 weeks while we waited to move into our new house. the entire time we were there, from the day we moved into the hotel room until we turned in our hotel key, i had a horrible rash covering my hands, arms, neck, feet, and knees.

it was itchy and red and bumpy and gross. and it was mysterious. i had no idea what was causing it. there were so many changes going on in my life at the time, it could have been anything. new laundry detergent? yes, the hotel's laundry detergent. new water source? yes, in a new city. new bathsoap? yes, the soap provided by the hotel. dry skin? yes, suddenly it's winter. all the usual suspects could have caused my itching.

i slathered on lotion, sprayed anti-itch remedies, and even sprinkled on cornstarch (weird). i made all the changes that i could to soothe my skin, but the rash didn't respond. it was stressing me out!

and then it occurred to me: the most likely cause of my rash was anxiety.

as soon as i realized that, and admitted to myself that i was indeed anxious, and as soon as i made an effort to address my anxiety instead of trying to address the rash, the itching went away. the best way i know to address anxious feelings stirring in my spirit is to whole-heartedly pursue God's Word.

on a Sunday morning at our new church, i was gently reminded:

Do not be anxious about anything (Phil 4:6)

Do not worry (Matt 6:25)

anxiety: (noun) A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

...Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matt 6:27)

When anxiety was great within me,
Your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94:19)

anxiety steals our joy, robs our freedom, kills our happiness, destroys our ability to love fully, hampers our self-control, and keeps us from being able to enjoy God's peace. anxiety is an enemy. but God has promised to take care of me and my "what if's"! i am offered complete consolation, a peace that surpasses all understanding, and a heart that is guarded by my Heavenly Father. 

it's blasted on bumper stickers and bedazzled on's completely cliche, but it's true: we are too blessed to be stressed. do not be anxious. do not worry. pray and seek the Lord! take Him for His Word, and His Word is good.

Lord, thank You for reminding me not to be anxious. Thank You, Father for being my source for comfort, consolidation, joy, and peace. Lord, thank You for Your faithful promises and Your unfailing Word!

Stef Layton and i love to Pursue the Word whole-heartedly! go see the Word God put on her heart today.