Are you a worrier? I am.
I’m prone to anxiety. It’s a part of the way that God wired me. And, this current situation is, without a doubt, a daily buffet of anxiety.
If you watch any amount of news coverage or press conferences or numbers of cases and deaths, you’ll find yourself having some anxiety. If you’re worried about yourself, family members and friends, you can have some anxiety. If you are working from home, or have been sent home and you’re wondering about your job and how you’ll make it, you probably have some anxiety. If you’re wondering where your next meal comes from, you’re probably having some anxiety.
All of these worries and concerns can add up to anxiety. Dealing with what is often called “unprecedented” or “uncharted waters” can have that mental impact.
So, then, what does anxiety really mean? A dictionary definition of anxiety would suggest that it is “distress or uneasiness of the mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.” In the language of the Bible, anxiety would mean that we are “troubled with cares.” I’ve felt many of those things since my physical workplace (school) was closed over COVID-19 fears.
Then, a couple of days ago, I had a gentle reminder of something in scripture. A couple of birds were hanging around my feeder and I remembered the words found in Mathew 6:26-27. Those words are:
“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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
ESV, Matthew 6:26-27
That verse can remind us of a few things. First, all the worrying and anxiety in the world isn’t going to change the fact that the coronavirus exists. Second, even when you can’t see it, God is at work. Third, God loves you as you are and where you are.
All of that leads us to hope. Hope is the confident expectation that God does what God says He will do.
So, in the next days and weeks, be willing to check yourself when it comes to anxiety. Focus on the positives and use the time to do something useful and helpful. Don’t spend the entire day glued to news broadcasts or on sites with coronavirus stats. Do your best to make it through this storm and know that something better waits on the other side.
Prayer: God, help us with our anxieties as our world deals with the coronavirus pandemic. Help us to to know that you love us, care for us and are with us in this time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.