Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…
Everywhere I turn lately, I see and hear a lot of anxiety – people are worried about the ongoing pandemic and quarantine, people are concerned about the election and the lengthy counting process, and people are nervous over riots and ensuing chaos. There is a lot to be worried about right now. Of course, all of this is on top of our normal day-to-day worries about family and friends, health concerns, bills, and unending to-do lists. There is a lot to worry about.
When we turn to scripture, however, we are reminded again and again not to worry. God tells us in several different ways to let go of anxiety.
Jesus reminds us that useless worry has no benefits: “And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” Matthew 6:27.
We gain nothing from time and energy spent in anxious worry. Apprehension and nervousness are not productive – they lead to lost sleep, poor eating habits, clenched jaws, and headaches. If anything, we lose time to worry rather than adding hours to our lives.
Saint Paul encourages us to turn to God with our anxieties, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
I heard from a friend today who said that she likes to reach the highest elevation on her hikes and shout her prayers to God. Of course, this doesn’t help God hear her prayers any better, but it may help her to relieve a little stress. God is always there, always listening. Send your worries to God, in whatever way works best for you.
In Joshua 1:9, The Lord speaks to Joshua about leading God’s people into the promised land, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
This message rings true for all of us today. Even though we may be feeling scared and heavy-burdened, we are not alone. We are never alone, for God is with us every step of the way.
Jesus spoke to his disciples shortly before his arrest saying, “…in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
Jesus never told us that life would be easy. God never said that we wouldn’t have anything to worry about – we are simply reminded that God is with us, and is always listening. Jesus has conquered the world – that is not our burden to carry.
Turn to God with your worries, and your burden will be lifted.
P.S. I included a picture of one of our goat kids because his name Courage, and also because we think he’s really cute!