Feeling anxious? You are not alone. Here’s a quote for you:
Isolation, lack of social connection and overall uncertainty are already taking a toll on everyone’s mental health during the pandemic. While Zoom (NASDAQ:ZOOM) usage skyrocketed from 10 million users to 300 million users during the first three months of isolation, so have prescriptions for anxiety disorders like Eli Lilly and Company’s Prozac, which saw sales rise 9.2% from 27.2 million to 29.7 million between March 2019 to March 2020.
It’s probably safe to say that almost all of us are feeling more anxiety than we were a year ago. I noticed in myself, especially the first month or tow of the pandemic sheltering in place, that I was waking up more in the middle of the night, or feeling nervous or anxious for no apparent reason during the day. We see it in society as well, with social unrest, protests for a variety of causes, and increases in crime and abuse.
What can we do? I have another quote for you:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
At first we might think that God has a great sense of humor. Do not be anxious about anything? Anything? Come on, God, look at what’s happening! How could anyone not be anxious?
But God knows exactly how to keep us from being filled with anxiety. He wants us to give our anxieties to Him. “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
“In everything,” God says. In our anxieties about coronavirus, our governor, our health, our loved ones, and this disease, Jesus says, present our requests to God. In other words, “Give it to me.” In our anxieties about race relations, presidential elections, and the interpretations of the U.S. constitution, Jesus says, “Give it to me.” As we feel anxious about worship services being closed down by the governor or opened up to more activity, Jesus says, “Give it to me.” And as we feel anxious and harbor unkind thoughts or even lash out at loved ones, Jesus says, “Give it to me.”
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
That’s a promise from the one who took our sinful anxiety to the cross and rose from the dead. “Give me your anxieties, and I will give you my peace.”
Amen, Jesus. Amen.