At some point in life we all experience anxiety in some form or other. I remember as a student worrying about upcoming tests and sporting events. At the time they seemed like the most important events in the world. No amount of study or preparation could relieve the anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. As I got older the worry associated with big tests or sporting events shifted to job opportunities, the health of family members and the birth of children. But it wasn't until I met Jesus that I realized that the all the worry, all the anxiety over these things couldn't change the outcome. Before, the worry would often build to seemingly unmanageable levels sometimes causing the inability to act. With Jesus, I now had a loving lord and savior who cared about these worries and assured me he would see me through.
Sadly, Jesus is often not the first person I go to with worries and anxiety. It seems like it is human nature to seek advice from others or to even bare our problems alone before we seek God. We don't like to feel weak, and while it is a good thing to seek wise counsel from others, our first interaction on worry should always be the Lord. I have been blessed with peace and comfort in any number of worry inducing situations when I first go to God in prayer. When I labor over these same situations only later going to God I always come to the conclusion of why did I not take this to God first? Pride is so very hard to overcome.
In Philippians 4:6-9, Paul states how we are to approach worries and anxieties.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request
be known to God. And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Jesus Christ." Philippians 4:6-7
Paul speaks of the peace given by God that surpasses all understanding. I've seen this peace in the passing of my father-in-law several years ago. People who have not met Jesus are often dumbfounded when they see an acquaintance or friend experience a hardship and handle it with a sense of peace that doesn't make sense to them. I would be willing to say that it is that very peace that God gives us that attracts those who may have been dumbfounded.
I know when something is bothering me if I take that worry to God it will be put into perspective. He will give the peace and comfort only he can. If I try to carry the burden alone it festers. It grows into something it never should have been. I pray that we would always seek God first in thanksgiving, praying for the worries that will arrive in life. We already know the outcome.