I admit I was really anxious on Saturday, but I did not know that I was. Most of the late afternoon I was stirred up and churning over stuff in my head, not getting a lot done, but very busy at small things, looking at the clock, fretting about the national news on television, and feeling a bit overwhelmed. Essentially, much, to much ado about nothing, as Shakespeare put it.
The amazing thing was, looking back on it all, there was nothing really new, or impending to be anxious about, no dilemma to solve – just unrest and too much reaction to things I could not control. It was like too many thoughts were colliding in my head to think about.
That evening, a good friend was on the internet, on our computer in the living room, speaking on his ministry program. As I walked past, I heard him tell his audience to not be anxious. His reminder was that Jesus had made that a directive to obey, not a suggestion. It stopped me. It caught me. That was IT! Right into our bedroom I went and lay down on our bed, on my back. Wow. I was all stirred up because I had let anxiety about the world’s stuff trouble me. I could listen, pray about the situations I heard about, but I was not to get troubled by them in my mind or heart.
“Jesus, I need Your peace.” I sighed and admitted to Him that I was wrong to be fretting and anxious. I knew that this kind of thinking meant I was not trusting Him to answer my prayers. I also realized that I had been anxious about not hearing His voice all day, and that my ears had been so congested with inner noise, that He was waiting for me to wait quietly for Him. “Jesus,” I whispered, “ I give you all this fretting, and I receive Your perfect Peace.”
It was instant. Suddenly, I felt nothing but gentle, quiet calm. Clean slate. No twirling thoughts. Nothing clamoring for my attention, just profound, real peace. It was noticeable and lovely. I joined my husband in the living room to catch the rest of our friends show. At the moment I sat down, he was leading all the other anxious viewers to pray for forgiveness for anxiety. I prayed along, hugging myself inside for the lovely feeling of calm. And I thanked Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and prayers shape your worries into prayers. God knows your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
Philippians 4:6-7, Message Bible