My son once gave me a key ring which said, “Reality is the leading cause of stress.”
Let’s face it. When facing the real world, it is hard not to feel stressed. Feverish anxieties, gnawing worries, stress and tension seem to characterize so much of modern life. Research has shown that anxiety and stress contribute to heart disease, ulcers, loss of memory, blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, diminished immune function and disturbed sleep patterns. Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses in the country.
There is a huge industry in sleeping pills, antidepressants and minor tranquilizers to help people cope. But experts are by no means agreed as to the cure for worry and anxiety. Is there such a cure? Is it possible to win over worry?
Think of it this way. When you have a problem, you go to someone who can take care of it. So if you have a health problem, you go to your doctor. If you have a legal problem, you go to your attorney. You take your problem to them, and act on their advice (and pay their bill). You give them your problem, and then trust them to take care of it. Now imagine taking all your problems, worries, and anxieties to someone who is all-powerful and all-loving. There is such a person. The apostle Peter writes, “Cast all your anxieties on Him (God) because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
A few summers ago my wife, Gudny, and I were walking along beautiful Wrightsville Beach and saw a little toddler. One of his little chubby hands was in the hand of his father, who was a very powerfully built young man (I tried to push out my chest as I was walking past). The wee boy’s other hand was in his mother’s hand. She had a very sweet and loving face. They were obviously delighted to be at the beach and were enjoying leading their son into the ocean possibly for the first time. It was a delightful picture until I looked at the child’s face. His lip was trembling, his face was puckered, and he was about to cry. He wasn’t looking at his very strong father. He wasn’t looking at his very loving mother. He was staring at the waves of the ocean, which, from his perspective, must have seemed very big, very noisy and very foreboding. Did he really think that his powerful father and loving mother would let him drown? Did he really think that they would let anything harm him? Never. They wanted him to enjoy the wonder of the warm and exciting ocean. They were leading him into a new adventure. What was he fretting about? His eyes were on the sea rather than on his mom and dad who certainly could be trusted.
Are you presently facing deep waters and huge waves? Is your life very difficult, full of perilous and seemingly insuperable obstacles? Here is the challenge: don’t focus on the waves; don’t be anxious at the size of your problems. Focus on God, and bring all of your cares and worries to Him. He is all-powerful. He can do all things. No problem is too great for Him. He is the God who can move mountains. He is also a God who loves you, and knows you.
Cast all your cares on the all-powerful and all-loving God. He really cares for you. He loves you. So bring all of your cares to the Lord in prayer. And trust the God who can do the impossible.