Anxiety, according to Google is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear about what’s to come.
It’s easy to understand why people are feeling some anxiety these days. With the effects of the pandemic seen everywhere in our society, I’m surprised anxiety isn’t more of an issue. Look at what you guys have had to endure over the last six or seven months. You had the longest March break in the history of education, followed by a very unusual summer break. Now September comes and it’s back to school…kind of. Going back to school under normal circumstances is already stressful; new teacher, new courses, new people and in some cases, new schools. Now we need to add masks, social distancing, dipping ourselves in sanitizer and the elimination of any of the things that actually make school “fun”. All this is assuming that you returned to school in the first place. I know some of you are learning from home and since this is a new situation for many, it brings its own stress, anxiety and fear of the unknown.
Have you ever wondered what God thinks about the fact that everyone is so anxious and stressed out? We know God didn’t create us to be these wound up balls of stress, He created us in His own image. How do we know that stress and anxiety isn’t God’s plan for us? Because the Bible tells us not to be anxious and if/when we are, we can take that stress to God. If we check out Philippians 4:6 in our Bible, Paul says:
6 Don’t worry about anything. No matter what happens, tell God about everything. Ask and pray, and give thanks to him.
or, how about Isaiah 41:10?
10 So do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not be terrified. I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. I will hold you safe in my hands. I always do what is right.
So this is great news! We don’t need to worry about anything because the Bible clearly says that God will build us up and help us out! So then why don’t we feel any better? We still have new teachers, We still have no idea how online gym class is going to work and we still have a pandemic to worry about! So, is the question we need to ask ourselves: “Why are we so stressed?” or is the question “Why don’t we trust God?”
We discussed the topic of trust in class on Sunday and we decided that it’s almost impossible to trust someone you don’t know, someone you don’t have a history with, a relationship with. We quickly learn who we can and can’t trust through our experiences in life. We learn (hopefully) that our parent(s) will feed us and take care of us because they do, repletely, day after day. We can trust them to do it again in the future because they have taken care of us in the past. We may also learn that there are people we can’t trust, but we learn these things through experience, because we get to know people, for good and for bad. If we learn whether or not we can trust someone based on our knowledge of that person, that’s our answer to trusting God! As with our other experiences, the better we know God, the more we will realize that we can actually trust Him.
So, how do you get to know God? We discussed on Sunday (and above) that we need to develop a relationship with Him, the same way we would with the other people in our lives. Just like with others we need to talk to God and we do that through prayer. We need to listen to Him and those who know Him and we can do that by reading the Bible. Finally, we need to be around Him and spend time with Him and we can do that by attending Church, either on Sunday or on Thursday night (or both) once our midweek programs begin.
If school is getting you down, the pandemic is stressing you out and the anxiety that life brings is keep you up at night, get to know God. Don’t worry…it’s painless! It took me some time before I could trust God too, but now that I’ve made that leap of faith, I’m sleeping like a baby!