We all seek peace. We want peace in the world, peace in our communities, peace in our relationships and peace for our own hearts. How can we have peace when we’re suffocating under anxiety? Where can we find this peace that’s so elusive? Here’s a clue. It doesn’t come from within, if our spirits are overwhelmed by “What if …” producing anxiety. Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” If you’ve been reading this blog for very long you’ll recognize this mantra: If you get the inside right, the rest will take care of itself. As it turns out, that’s a true statement. Go back and let Proverbs 12:25 sink in a little bit.
Today’s Escaping Anxiety tip is a simple one. Protect the first part of your day; protect the last part of your day. When you jump out of bed in the morning, or even if your jump is more like removing tar from the sole of your shoe, you can protect the beginning of your day. Think about how your day begins. Do your feet hit the floor and your next action is to turn on the news? Really? Why? The world will continue to churn whether you stand by and watch it the first thing in the morning or not. Protect you morning – at least the first half hour. Instead, peace seeker friend, feed your spirit the light of the world. Psalms 63:1 “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.” During the day, there will be time to catch up on the news. Trust me on that.
I have a friend who was being treated for depression. Over the course of a few months it became apparent to me that begin addicted to watching the news was contributing to deep despair, anxiety and depression. If this describes you, Stop! Stop it! There is nothing good happening in the news today. The Center for Disease Control says this “Depression is the most common type of mental illness, affecting more than 26% of the U.S. adult population. It has been estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability throughout the world, trailing only ischemic heart disease.“
Don’t be trapped inside a statistic like that one. Protect your day in the morning. Psalms 94:19 “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” Then let’s talk about preparing to sleep at night. Many times I drift off to sleep praying for people I love and people I don’t know at all, but have heard of their plight and ask God to be with them and take care of them. I wake up praying – like God put a bookmark in my prayer. Other times I read the Bible or another book that lifts my spirits. One thing I never do with the last half hour of my day…watch the news. I’ll repeat this tip for you. Protect your day by surrounding it with a peaceful start to your morning. When you rise in the morning, go toward the light John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
I understand the need to be informed and there is opportunity for that, but informed and immersed and not interchangeable words. And end your day with peace enhancing practices. Isaiah 26:3 “You [God] will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Entrust this day, entrust the moments of this day to the God who holds the future in His hands.
In it to win it ….begin today.
Escaping Anxiety Tools for a Peaceful Life
- Focus on Philippians 4:8-9 – think on things that bring peace
- Protect your first part of the day; protect your last part of the day