And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:29-32
Sometimes work stresses us out. There’s always a lot going on and a million things to attend to. We can feel like we’re behind and the deadlines are streaming by like telephone poles when you drive down the highway. You don’t want to admit you are overwhelmed (that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the people you work for) but sometimes that’s the truth. It’s like trying to walk in the surf on the beach and every time you try to stand up the waves smack you down again. You keep swallowing salt water and drowning feels like a very real risk.
So the best we think we can do is to attend to all our issues and assignments with all the focus we can muster. And we worry. We work late, work early, work on weekends, and worry all the time we aren’t working about what we are missing. My wife once told me that anxiety is trying to attend to everything at once. I’ve never thought of myself as an anxious person but some days that certainly describes me.
Is there a way to get out of this pounding surf? Absolutely, but it may not be what you think. Encouraging someone fraught with anxiety to “not worry”, without more, is usually not helpful. If you try it, you will often get a litany of all the issues they are attending to thrown back at you. (That is probably what you would get from me.)
The answer to our anxiety, whether from work stress or family problems, is not a commitment to “not worry”. The answer is in placing our faith in the omnipotent God rather than our own energy. The answer is in giving the issues to a perfectly loving Father, and taking back His generous peace in exchange. He knows what we need. He is a good Father with a good plan for us. Try turning over your problems, really turning over the outcomes – the brilliant success or unmitigated failure, of the issues in your life, and learn to ride the waves in the joy He gladly gives to us.