Do you feel anxious today? Does it feel as if there is a gorilla sitting on your chest making it hard to breathe? Do you feel like you are being choked? Are there situations or circumstances in your life that are causing you to lie awake at night? Does whatever is burdening you lurk in the back of your mind all day long and no matter you do or say it has a grip on you? No matter how big or small your worries are, you do not have to live with panic and anxiety.
Before we begin, we want you to hear that we are not minimizing your situation. Some of you are facing real issues that are truly life changing and we recognize that you are staring into the face of anxiousness, fear and worry. But on the flip side, so often we find ourselves anxious and fretting over what might happen. Mark Twain said this, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
The English word anxious comes from the Latin word anxius which means troubled or distressed. The Latin word anxius actually is derived from the Latin word angere which means “to choke, squeeze, strangle, or to press tight.”
Today we simply want to say that in those moments when you feel as if life is pressing tight in on you, and you feel as if there is no relief in sight, you can rest assured that God is right there ready to exchange your anxiety for His peace. We have said it before and we will say it again right now. Sometimes God calms the storm and other times He lets the storm rage and calms the child.
If you are looking for a passage of scripture to draw upon in those moments when you feel anxious, try memorizing Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
You might be asking, why would God want me to dump my messes in His lap? The answer is simple; He loves you and cares for you. Don’t take our word for it, lets turn to the Bible. 1 Peter 5:7 cuts right to the chase, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Turning to Jesus helps you get that gorilla off your chest that is making it hard to breathe. Turning to Jesus helps to remove that squeezed feeling you have when anxiety takes over your daily life. Regardless of whether God calms the storm around you or calms you in the midst of the storm, He offers you a peace that passes all understanding. So right now, kick the gorilla to the curb, ask Jesus for an exchange, and then allow His peace to ooze all over you like chocolate sauce on ice cream!