As I have mentioned previously, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression in the past. I had several years where panic attacks became a normal part of my life, and everything seemed far too big and frightening for me to cope. When I was being bullied at school I didn’t know how to get through and I became consumed with worry and fear of what the next days, weeks, and months might hold. When I was in a good place I would try some positivity like joining a choir or a theatre group. After a while I would become so overwhelmed that my stomach would become a mass of knots and butterflies, leaving me with constant stomach aches and nausea. I became so fixated on the ‘problems’ and ‘hurdles’, that I became crippled with fear and anxiety to the point that I would just go and hide.
Around this time I got some great advice – words that I still call on today. ‘Take one day at a time, break down challenges into small achievable bite size chunks and remember Matthew 6vs 34’ (‘Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’) Worry and anxiety are common themes in the Bible. You just have to look at how many verses there are in the Bible that target these issues. What strikes me about this verse is that it doesn’t pretend that you won’t have worry, or even tell you not to worry. But it tells you to focus on the now, on today and not to spend time worrying about tomorrow. It makes it clear that each day we will face new challenges and hurdles, and that God will provide us with what we need to get through. Jesus is giving us very hands-on and achievable advice -live one day at a time.
God challenged me with Luke 12 – it hits the nail on the head…’who can add a single hour to your life by worrying?’. Let’s break this down: we are human, we worry about things that are bigger than us or out of our control, yet it is clear that worrying isn’t going to do us any good. I look back at the damage that worrying has done me over the years – the panic attacks, the wasted hours feeling sick to my stomach, and the feelings of despair. So what does it suggest we do then? In both Luke 12 and Matthew 6 it goes into detail about not worrying about the day to day needs, because our Heavenly Father will provide.
So we take one day at a time, trust God for our daily needs and what else? In Philippians 4, Paul looks at another approach to overcoming anxiety and that is to offer it all to God. If we surrender it to God, seek His will and provision, knowing that He is big enough, we can receive His peace. I love how realistic and practical all this advice is because let’s face it, things happen that can be worrying and unsettle us. Yet we have been given simple and effective steps to overcoming these worries and anxieties.
When we focus on the “what ifs” in life we end up robbing ourselves of the joy of living and experiencing the now. Let’s not be crippled with the fear of tomorrow but believe with our whole hearts that the God who was with us in our yesterdays and who is with us today will be with us tomorrow, and loves us just the same. So let’s walk with confidence day by day, trusting that the God of love, the God of creation and our incredible loving father will provide all we need to not only survive but to thrive.
May God bless you greatly this week and provide for your every need.
With love and prayers,