I normally think about anxiousness as something that happens when something bad is imminent–like that gut feeling you get when you pass a trooper on the interstate and look down to see you were speeding. But earlier today, I realized that I also get anxious about potentially good things too.
Have you ever been caught up in something really great, and yet with ever step forward comes a new wave of anxiousness? Maybe something good is right on the edge of coming together, but you don’t have any control on whether or not it will–like putting in an offer on a house or following up on an interview. Maybe you decided to begin homeschooling your kids, and suddenly realized their all-important knowledge base was up to you to develop! Maybe it was when your business started to take off, and you began to feel the pressure of meeting the expectations of a larger customer base. Maybe it’s after you preached your first sermon, got a positive response and began to prepare for your next sermon. Or maybe it was after you found out you were having another child, and you realized that you and your husband or wife now have two kids to raise, feed, discipline and train! Whatever it is, I think you can probably come up with a situation in your life when something good made you anxious.
God has been doing some really cool stuff in my life. He has opened up doors that, up to now, I’ve only dreamed of. I’ve gotten to speak to students about my first book, Ten Days Without. I’ve been in Michigan this week, recording the audio book for my second book that comes out in May. Earlier today, I had the privilege of an unexpected interview on a radio program. And there are hints of more fun to come…You would think that with all of the good things going on, that my confidence would be at an all-time high and that my faith in God’s direction would be extra strong. But in reality, the more things seem to go well, the more anxious I get! I think it’s because I really want this whole Intentional Christian thing to work–to change people’s lives. To help them see God in a new way. It’s a lot of pressure to have an idea that you believe is of God, and to feel that you are supposed to be a good steward of it.
There’s a really important set of verses in the Bible for those of us who get anxious:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
In the past, I thought this verse only applied to negative situations–situations where I was stressed out because something bad was going to happen. But today, I realized that we are also not supposed to be anxious about good things either. Instead, whether it’s something good or bad, our job is to give it to God through prayer and with thanksgiving, and let his peace guard our hearts and minds.
May the peace of God that transcends understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. May you and I have the faith to trust God in the bad AND the good. And instead of putting pressure on ourselves to make a business, family or ministry grow and succeed on our own, may we focus, instead, on walking faithfully with God and obediently doing whatever he places in front of us to do.