Do not be anxious.
Easy to say, isn’t it?
Harder to do.
I wouldn’t normally say I’m a person given to anxiety. I would, however, freely admit that I get overwhelmed. Perhaps they’re not entirely different.
God’s Word speaks about anxiety and how He wants us to handle it:
…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 ESV)
The Greek word translated “anxious” is mérimna. It has some of the meanings we’d expect, such as worry, fear or care. But it also carries the connotations of being drawn in many directions, fracturing a person’s thinking into many parts.
I’m not much of a worrywart. Or so I thought.
I co-lead a small group for middle school girls on Monday nights. I don’t prepare the lesson, so I’m not sure I should be called a leader. Mostly, I’m there to be another adult presence in the room and to build relationships with the students in our youth group.
The true leader of the group prepared a lesson on worry for the girls. She encouraged them to journal a list of things they’re prone to worry about. Turning open our Bibles, we read passages that speak directly to the subject. Her definition for worry went beyond the notions of anxiety or fear. She expanded it to ‘taking responsibilty for something we’re not meant to be in charge of.’