Covid-19 has had such a detrimental effect on all of us. One of the major side effects of the actual virus and its impact on our society is that it has increased anxiety levels.
For people who already have had issues with anxiety, it has drastically raised the level – almost supercharged their anxiety. I have talked with many people who never had anxiety issues and are now struggling big time.
During my lifetime, I have battled anxiety, and there was a season in my early ministry that I had severe panic attacks. Back then, I didn’t know what they were, and you certainly wouldn’t tell anyone. Thankfully, my patient wife walked with me through it, and with God’s help, I have not had a panic attack in 25 years.
But I am not going to lie to you – there have been moments when given the right circumstances, it would be easy to allow those panic attacks to rear their ugly head.
Recently I read a book by John Eldredge, Get Your Life Back – Everyday Life Practices for a World Gone Mad. One of the chapters speaks about the “Daily Pause, ” a moment to stop when things feel or seem out of control. It’s a time to pause and reflect on the Word and allow God to quiet our hearts and lean into Him. By the way, there is even an app to help you remember to take a couple of daily pauses throughout the day.
Believe it or not, I am a reactionary kind of guy. When something doesn’t go the way I want it, or I hear something that is crazy, an accusation made is not true, or hear about a problem that I need to fix – it would be easy for me to lash out or try and attack the problem without taking time to pause and listen for the voice of God. I struggle with the Peter syndrome often – speak first, then think about or get the facts after I have shot my mouth off or sent that email.
Too often, I did this with my wife and kids. How stupid! This past week there were two times when I heard something, and my immediate reaction was to fire off an email (which I would have regretted). But I decided to pause and wait on the Lord, and guess what – my whole perspective changed. In one instance, I would have reacted without all of the facts. In the other situation, pausing allowed me to think and pray through the right way to address the problem.
I now understand that when anxiety arises within me, it’s a good time to pause and feed my mind with the truth of His Word. To help me and you, I will give you some anxiety buster verses to put in your toolbox. The list may take two or three blogs, but here you go:
28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
There are four verses to get you started. Put them on a 3X5 card and carry them with you. As those anxious moments come, pull the cards out, and it possible, read them out loud. Turn them into prayer. Write them out in your journal.
If you are a fellow struggler, I’d love to hear from you. Email me: email@example.com.
By Christ, In Christ, For Christ,
Bill Welte, President/CEO
Written by Bill Welte,President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: “the way to defeat the dangerous potential of complaint is not by silence but by praise. The more you commit yourself to counting your blessings, the more you will have eyes to see specific blessings in your life.” ―