Meditation on anxiety and trust
Take a moment to settle yourself. Invite Jesus to help you be present with him during this time. Start with this prayer:
“Almighty God, create for me an oasis of quiet and stillness in the midst of my busy surroundings. My life often feels like this bustling campus — always busy, always things to do. Make this time one of quiet for me. Calm my heart and give me your peace. Come now and reveal your presence to me as I make myself present to you, Lord Jesus. Amen.”
Hear the words of Jesus:
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
“Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers — most of which are never even seen — don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matthew 6:25-34, The Message).
- What are the things you are tempted to fuss over?
- What are the patterns to this fussing?
- What are the fears that occupy your mind and heart that keep you from relaxing?
- Do these fears reveal something about how you view yourself?
- How does this passage address those fears?
- Do your fears and fussing reveal something about how you view God? Spend time meditating on the connections between your places of anxiety and your view of God.
- From these Bible verses, does Jesus give you a different picture of God?
“Be not anxious! Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of all anxiety. If our hearts are set on them, our reward is an anxiety whose burden is intolerable. Anxiety creates its own treasures and they in turn beget further care. When we seek for security in possessions we are trying to drive out care with care and the net result is the precise opposite of our anticipation. The fetters that bind us to our possessions prove to be cares themselves.”
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“I ask the Father to root your feet in love so that you may take in the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19, The Message).
Go in peace.
—adapted from articles by Roger Weber and Steve Stuckey
Read more in the feature article, Hovering anxiety.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.