The uncertainties and changes brought on by COVID-19 have created anxiety for many and intensified the anxiety of others. However, we don’t have to let this anxiety rule over us. By definition, anxiety is the feeling of worry about an eminent event or over something with an uncertain outcome. It is characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness, physiological reaction, and fears. Have you been experiencing anxiety lately?
The problem with anxiety is that it robs from you all rational thought. Corrie Ten Boom stated, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength.” 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us God has not given us a spirit of fear. Instead, He has given us power, and love, and a sound mind. The truth to realize is when we are operating in a spirit of fear, we lose, or give up, our power and love and sound mind. When our minds are not grounded by truth, we become irrational and impulsive, which, like a domino effect, leads us to panic and helplessness. The person who is going to allow fear and anxiety to rule him is either going to play the victim role, like an opossum, in hopes that things don’t get worse, or he will become the survivor who believes the end justifies the means. The victim becomes a product of his circumstances allowing the changes going on around him to dictate how he feels, thinks, and behaves. The survivor, on the other hand, in an effort to protect himself from the feelings fear and anxiety bring, is going to act out of selfishness to avoid those feelings.
There is a better way. Psalm 56:3 reads, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” To cope with anxiety, you must learn to manage your thoughts, taking them captive to the obedience of Christ and focus them on the hope we have in Him. Let your mind reflect on who Christ is: the Good Shepherd, the Great Physician, the Lord and King, the Deliverer and our Friend. As you think on Who Christ is, reflect on the promises He has made: He will never leave us nor forsake us, He will be with us when we pass through perilous times, He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and others promises. I recommend you watch a YouTube video of a sermon by SM Lockridge titled “That’s my King.” It will give you many things about who Jesus is that you can set your mind on.
Corrie Ten Boom, a Holocaust survivor, once said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Anxiety feasts and grows on the uncertainties and the unknown, but it is defeated by a mind focused on Jesus Christ. May the grace of our Lord Jesus overshadow you with peace and comfort.
•Clay Gill is the Executive Director of Cord of Three Counseling Services, Inc. which serves Pierce and other regional counties.