Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up. (Proverbs 12:25 CSB)
As a pastor and a hospital chaplain, anxiety often overcomes me with a double-dose: Sunday followed by Monday. I can find myself sweating profusely and feeling faint. Just did yesterday. And then came close today. When will it end? Come, Lord Jesus.
By God’s grace and in his wonderful timing last night I read about prayer and anxiety, about what “an unused prayer link” to God looks like. “Anxiety. Instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like severed power lines, destroying everything they touch. Anxiety wants to be God but lacks God’s wisdom, power, or knowledge. A godlike stance without godlike character and ability is pure tension. Because anxiety is self on its own, it tries to get control. It is unable to relax in the face of chaos. Once one problem is solved, the next in line steps up. The new one looms so large, we forget the last deliverance” (Paul Miller, A Praying Life)
“Pure tension.” “Unable to relax in the face of chaos.” Thank you, Paul, for these phrases that help me describe my dilemma. However, life must go on even in the midst of the situations that unleashed the anxiety. What do I do? Another Paul tells me to be anxious for nothing but to pray about everything. … through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) These Pauls think alike. Prayer. Well, I can try. Peace. That sounds divine.
But the Proverb mentions a good word that cheers up. Peter, have you got anything for me? Indeed: Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:6-7). OK, here goes. (And thank you, Solomon, for the ancient and relevant insight, a sort of stairway to heaven.)