Anxiety seems to rule the day not only in our country but also in our beautiful community of Salida.
There seems to be a weight that is placed collectively on our entire town and everyone is concerned about when that weight will finally be lifted. But the truth is nobody knows that answer. That is, nobody but God.
Anxiety has the effect upon us of making us less productive and perhaps less optimistic.
I’ve become more and more aware of this anxiety “weight” as I have observed normally positive people become very pessimistic about the future.
Anxiety is spoken of quite a bit in the Bible, it brings to mind a verse in the book of Proverbs that describes quite accurately what anxiety can do to us, it says… “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)
Certainly the pandemic has caused many to feel anxious. But what is it, specifically, that creates this feeling inside us?
I looked up the definition for anxiety in online dictionaries and most of them seem to agree what it is. The definition that seems to capture the general sense of anxiety is: “anxiety”… a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome (Oxford Languages dictionary).
Interestingly most of the definitions are like this one and describe the feelings that we identify as anxiety (nervousness and unease) but they also tell of the causes for anxiety, (imminent events and uncertain future).
We are worrying a great deal about the pandemic’s effects on us and what the future holds, that is, when will it end?
The reality is that nobody knows the answers to these questions. But we do the right things… We wear masks, gloves, we socially distance, and we wash our hands and try not to touch our faces!
I have a feeling that at the end of this we will be the most clean and sanitized country to ever exist! If nothing else our mothers from our youth would be proud!
I have a daughter, a son in law and three grandchildren who live overseas in Europe. She was sharing with me recently that someone that they know asked them why they seem to be so at ease in the midst of all of this uncertainty?
She answered them simply, “we just trust in God.”
In truth it really is that simple. God is sovereign, he created all things, sustains all things, and knows all things… Even when this will all end.
If my daughter or myself were to die from the virus we know precisely what our destination at that point would be.
The apostle Peter said it this way: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Let the truth of that sink in… “God cares for you.”
All of these things that we worry about, that we become anxious about are very temporary.
Serious… yes, important… most certainly, but God is greater than all of these things and we should learn to “lean into” the truth of his caring for us.
How do we relieve anxiety in our lives? Trust in the care and love of God.
John Myers is pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Salida.