Anxiety, in contrast with fear, is not typically unexplainable. Where fear is a feeling that may or may not have an actual cause, anxiety is a fear about what might happen in the future. It is an overwhelming concern for the outcome of events that are imminent.
Anxiety says things like:
- “How will my children turn out?”
- “The change at work may cause me to lose my job.”
- “I am moving but don’t have a house yet. What if I can’t find a place to live?”
- “I need to pay my bills. What if I don’t have the money at the end of the month to pay them?
- And any number of other concerns rooted in some degree of reality.
This is what makes anxiety so hard to deal with. We can rationalize it. We make ourselves feel good by declaring that we are just “Realists.” The problem with many who have experienced trauma in their lives is that they have concluded, because of their past, that anything outside of their control will end poorly. And so they need to be in control all of the time. When they feel out of control, anxiety and the fear of the bad thing that will probably happen begins to control them.
Control and trust are at the heart of anxiety. There is so much in life that we cannot control and this is why we are anxious. We need to focus on the things that we can control and then trust an infinite God to take care of the rest! Our reading today describes a “peace that passes understanding” that can be enjoyed by the one who places their cares, concerns and anxieties on Him. When we really trust that He is capable of dealing with our future, we can finally release our overwhelming need for control.
Are you anxious? Cast your care and anxiety on Him because He cares for you and can be trusted!