When you get a moment to yourself and all the world is quiet, what do you find yourself thinking about the most? I have to confess, it's really easy for me to be mentally three steps ahead of where I actually am in life. Part of that is how God wired me. I'm a strategic thinker. I like to plan ahead. I want to see the bumps ahead and maneuver around them. But part of that is the ever-lurking sin of anxiety that plagues my forever frantic female brain.
I would submit to you that this phenomenon is not rare. Let me show you how this plays out in Christian circles where relationships are concerned.
When I was single, people were constantly asking, "So, is there anyone special?" (Not that I didn't appreciate the glaring reminder that the answer to that question was usually, "No. Thank you for asking. I'm fine. I'm dating Jesus right now.")
But there is a progression to this. When there is someone special, the question becomes, "Is it serious?"
When it's serious, "Ring by Spring?"
Once engaged, then we really have a hay day. "So when's the big day? How are the plans going? How many days left?"
And my personal favorite... I've barely unpacked my bags from the honeymoon and to my shock and awe, "Soooooo... when can we expect a little one?" REALLY? I don't even know how to answer that question.
But before I throw mental stones at those well-meaning, kind hearted people who love me and just want good things for me - I remember I am guilty of moving way further down the road than I need to.
In Matthew 6:34, Jesus commands, "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Martin Luther once said, "I have only two days on my calendar: This day and That Day." If you're going to think about "tomorrow," let it be in the eager anticipation of Christ's return. On that day, all of the troubles of this world will be swept away.
When you start to add up your tomorrows, anxiety grows exponentially. And what Jesus has asked us to do is to keep our minds and our hearts focused on today. Do you hear it? Today's troubles are completely sufficient to keep that quick moving mind occupied. When I'm only focused on tomorrow, I miss the hand of God today.
Easier said than done, I know. Philippians 4:4-9 gives us some great remedies for anxiety. Worship. Be Thankful. Pray. Ask God for help. Think about good things. In all of these things, we remember God's faithfulness. And therein we find the opposite of anxiety: the overwhelming and inexplicable peace of God.
What characteristic of God helps you replace anxiety with peace?
What verses do you meditate on when you are fearful or anxious?