Saturday, March 8, 2014

Got Anxiety? It's Your Own Fault.

In his letter to the church of Philippi, the Apostle Paul wrote, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." Historians tell us that Paul was in prison when he penned those words, and if you haven't read Philippians 4 in a while, you really should take time to read it. It won't consume nearly as much time as scrolling through Facebook does.

I love that entire chapter (as seen from the markings in my old Bible) but specifically the part where Paul instructs the Philippians not to be anxious—about anything. Instead, they should make their requests known to God and focus on the positive. "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

How easy it is for us (mere humans that we are) to do just the opposite. To become obsessed with the negative, and be beyond anxious about today, and tomorrow, and 10 years down the road. But that way of thinking isn't pleasing to God. He doesn't want us to be anxious. We're his children, after all, and in Luke 12, he reminds his disciples of their worth. "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Of course, God can't take our anxieties if we don't release them, and today I am challenging you to join me in releasing your fears and practicing faith. Faith in God who loves you. Faith in God who wants to provide for you. Faith in God who works the night shift on your behalf, protecting you when you aren't even aware.

As a matter of fact, I was reminded of that just last night.

After a long, tiring two days of helping my daughter move, I got home around 9:30 p.m. I have a detached garage, and as I approached the backdoor to my house, I noticed it was open. Not wide open, but a few inches open. The fact that I had been away for over 24 hours didn't escape me as I retreated to the car and got back in. Without a weapon on me (other than a large black purse), I wasn't comfortable going inside my house alone.

Thankfully, my twin and her spouse live in my neighborhood, so I phoned Dayle and told her the situation and asked if Stan would mind bringing his weapon and giving the house a thorough search. Of course, he came, and not with just one weapon, mind you. He came with two. One was a four-footed beast named Diesel with a keen nose and killer jaws.

Man and beast found nobody lurking inside, and nothing had been disturbed, so I thanked my personal constable and went on in. Later, after a little prompting, it came to me what had happened. I will spare the full details (since this is already the longest blog post known to exist) and just say that I left the door ajar on purpose while appraising a certain situation outside, and while appraising a certain situation outside, I was distracted by an unnamed source and totally forgot about leaving the door ajar. Airhead me.

But regardless of the reasons why, it was yet another lesson in how much God loves me, and how good he is to me, and how it should be the simplest thing in the world to not be anxious about anything. Ever!

If you're still with me, dear friend, go read Philippians 4. I even linked to it to make it easier for you. The principles taught there can change your life for good, and just like Paul, you'll discover the secret of being content whatever the situation. ♦
I'm joining:
Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays
Michelle at Graceful


  1. Wow. That would be disconcerting. Glad Dayle and Stan and Diesel are so near!....and that all is well.

  2. Yes and amen to everything here. Thought you might be interested in knowing that Philippians 4 is also one of my favorite chapters, and it's marked here and yon in my old Bible, as well. At the bottom of the page, written in red ink, and in ALL CAPS (which I seldom use) are the words: DON'T WORRY!

    I should read that every single day of my life. Fear is the opposite of faith.

  3. P.S. I was thankful again, last night, that we live close to each other.

  4. I'm glad you're safe, that no one took anything, that Stan and Dayle live close by and that you used common sense by not going in alone! I'm reminded of that old song, Have Faith in God. Without Him, there is no faith.

  5. Well, we all leave doors open at times...glad you were safe. I memorized Phillipians4:8-9 awhile back. I have used it many times to refocus my thoughts.

  6. This really spoke to me Gayle. I am a worry wart from way back and God has been patiently teaching me over and over again that I can trust Him. I love Phil. 4:8 too. It's a great reminder that I have a choice when it comes to what consumes my thoughts. Blessings!

  7. Gayle...what an awesome reminder this is. I love it how in each and every situation we go through, God can always continue to prove Himself and His word over and over! Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Gayle, we are 'neighbors' this week at Hear it on Sunday. You are a brave woman--yes, sometimes life in Jesus does not go the way we plan it. You are a testimony to his faithfulness!

  9. I stayed with you to the end, and it didn't feel long to me at all. It felt like EXACTLY what I needed to hear these days. In my head and in my heart, I know that my fears and anxieties are my own fault. I know this, and yet I am so willing to pick them up and take them along with me.