Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health problems. It is estimated that one in 10 Canadians is affected by them. These disorders can be successfully treated so it is important to recognize the difference between being anxious in response to a real event, and an anxiety disorder which produces fear or distress that is out of proportion to the situation. People who suffer from anxiety disorders have long periods of intense feelings of fear or distress out of proportion to real events.
Anxiety is paralyzing. It prevents us from thinking clearly and being able to find a way out of whatever it is that is causing us to be anxious. It is natural for human beings to be anxious – there is a lot that life sends our way over which we have no control. We so often think we are self-sufficient and able to control our own destiny so when we are faced with challenges, anxiety arises. Jesus understood this – His anxiety over his impending crucifixion manifested itself with blood seeping from his pores. In that he teaches us what the apostle Paul teaches in Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” When Jesus faced the most challenging situation any human being has ever faced – dying a painful death on a cross and bearing the sin of the world – He turned to His Heavenly Father in prayer. We are called to do the same. As we present to God our deepest needs, being thankful for God’s many blessings, His peace will replace our anxiety and God will guard both our heart and our mind.
These have been words from the heart.