November 5, 2019
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV 1984).
She was middle aged, chronically anxious and doing well from her past cancer. When I asked her about her weight, she replied, “I was losing weight until I started smoking marijuana.”
“Don’t you know that marijuana is harmful to you?” I cautioned her. “How often do you smoke it?”
“About seven nights a week. It makes me feel good, and I don’t feel anxious when I smoke it.”
She would not listen to my warnings, but I was able to negotiate her down to three nights a week. My parting shot as she walked out of the examining room was, “Please, smoke less and pray more.”
We all have times of anxiety. Most of us suffer such feelings for short periods, around difficult life circumstances. A few of us face anxiety every day, as a fabric sewn into our lives. Even those who follow of the Prince of Peace have times of anxiety.
The root of anxiety is a fear of the future. Sometimes the cause of that fear can be identified. Sometimes it cannot. Even the Prince of Peace felt fear for His future (Mark 14:33-34).
The question is not whether Christians have anxiety. The question is how we deal with it.
Perhaps, we should do what Jesus did with His fear in Gethsemane:
We should pray.
We should surround ourselves with those who will watch and pray with us.
We should ask God to take the cause of our fear away from us, if possible.
We should accept His will whatever it is.
And now, with a risen Christ, we should ask His Spirit to walk with us through the valley of our fear.
I have never tried marijuana, but when it comes to managing anxiety, I bet this plan beats it, hands down.
“I steadier step when I recall that, if I slip, Thou dost not fall.” —Arthur Hugh Clough
Let me rest in Thee.