Faith Prescription for Easing Anxiety Each Day

Sunday, August 20, 2023 @ 1:50 PM

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in 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." (Philippians 4:6-7)

As I awaken, my mind reels with anxious thoughts stemming from unsettling dreams.
The pit in my stomach gnaws as I recall all the current struggles in my life. The inspirational phrase placed in a photo frame on my nightstand beckons. "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalms 118:24, NLT)

Armed with this inspiration, I jump out of bed to start my day. After offering a short prayer of thanks, I nourish my body with a healthy breakfast while I nourish my soul with this faith-filled reminder. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The phone trumpets the first challenge of the day. Sure enough, my boss requests that I complete a taxing project by tomorrow morning. I agree to email the final report by 8 a.m.

My heart flutters as I remind myself, "I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13). Upon quieting the noise in my mind, I outline a realistic game plan to complete the crucial components of this task.

After several productive hours, it becomes evident that elements of this assignment extend beyond my reach. A rival coworker, not exactly known for cooperation, must be consulted. The bible quote, "If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) flows through my mind as I text a request for assistance.

The Lord answered my prayer. I received the precise information I needed in a few minutes. With gratitude, I acknowledged God’s help. "Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:20)

Minutes later, my hopeful mood dampened at receiving an email that a close family member was admitted to the hospital with chest pain. In a moment of panic, I recalled the first lines of the serenity prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" (Reinhold Niebuhr) *

What's in my control? I muse. Well, I can visit my family member after I finish work this evening. Then I pray for God's healing and divine guidance to all the hospital staff involved. I also pray for the serenity to accept His will in this and all situations. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Satisfied with my efforts with my family member, I focus back on my work. After completing a draft of my project summary, the kitchen faucet starts to drip. Not again, I complain as I call the plumber. I just replaced it last week. Worried about the plumber's fees on my tight budget, I read this scripture passage. "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)

Miracles do happen! The plumber didn't even charge me. And I emailed my completed work project to my boss at 5 p.m. - with plenty of time to make it to the hospital during visiting hours. As I entered the hospital room, my family member shared the good news that the chest pain was not a heart attack, just a minor stomach issue that only required medication.

As I left the hospital and headed to my car, my boss called to congratulate me on my fine work on that demanding project and to inform me that I will be recommended for a promotion. “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.” (Psalms 118:1)

Of course, I know that all days do not go so well. And I start to feel anxious about tomorrow when I recall, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)

* Excerpt from “The Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr

Article and Photo by Jessica Loftus