Be Anxious for Everything (Or Nothing)

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I lost my planner. Maybe you’ve already heard, as I have shouted it from every window and social media avenue I could find. I called every coffee shop in town, flipped over couch cushions, and cried loud enough that perhaps it would grow legs and run back into my open arms.

It hasn’t worked. At this point, I am sure someone stole it (ok maybe not stole it) or it has disintegrated into thin air because that happens, right? Or it’s under my bed. Actually, I’m not sure if I even checked there. Maybe it’s under my bed.

Ok, sorry, I’m getting off track. I lost it. It’s gone.

Then yesterday a friend sent me an article on joy and how funny it is that God can use someone to speak so loudly into your life that you almost have to cover your ears in fear of noise induced injury. I laughed as I read what the article was on. Losing joy like losing your car keys. I read the line over and over to myself, I’m looking for it in all the wrong places. 

God knows my heart and He knows my struggle. Somewhere along the lines of life, it’s not so much that I lost my joy, but I lost my peace. I regularly struggle with anxiety and have to constantly keep myself in check in my thoughts so that they do not move into an irrational place. It is something that is not worked through over night, but a daily process in how to handle day to day situations. And my meltdown over losing something that can in fact be replaced was a sign that there is still work to be done.

I think I forget to embrace peace. It’s almost as though my default mode is to panic, when in fact we are taught to be anxious for nothing. Apparently I also struggle with the English language, because I could have sworn that Philippians 4:6 said “be anxious for all the things”. It doesn’t. Instead, being anxious for nothing gives us full access to peace that surpasses all human understanding. Including my irrational and anxious thoughts.

As it turns out, I have ironically searched for peace within the walls of anxiety. I have hoped to be put at ease by my own worry, which is so impossible and actually funny when thinking about it. I have allowed worry to control my thoughts, reactions, and how I do life in general. I have searched for peace in all the wrong places.

So what’s the action? The verse technically gives us action. Our action is to pray, to surrender, and to give it over. Which is so much easier said than done, right? Because how easy it to tell someone to pray about it than actually go to God and say “send help, please take over, can.not.deal.”. It is through our prayer that we release anxiety and sign it over to the One who can handle it far better than we ever could. And then we give thanks. Because we already have so much and we serve a God who is willing to take over our worries and anxieties. A God who doesn’t want us to walk around with the weight of our struggles. It is in that exchange that we find the peace that we have lost.

This is a process. It’s just not that easy, though some may act like it is. Of course it’s so easy to just tell you to stop worrying. But it takes daily reminders, grace, and great people who speak into your life and help guide you away from the thoughts that hold you captive instead of living a life freedom. Free from anxiety and worry.