Never before in the history of the world has mankind been so connected, and I’m not saying that in a good way. From the moment we wake up we are inundated with whatever is going on and the opinions expressed on social media about what’s going on.
I’m serious, it would not surprise me if someday soon the rear window of your car is basically going to be a big screen where you can express to the car behind you what you think about anything and everything.
I went to Toronto earlier this year for work and the hotel room bathroom mirror had a TV in it! When you turn it on it went automatically to the morning news so you wouldn’t miss anything while you dress after your shower.
Just the other day I was at the dentist’s office and of course the TV in the waiting room was on CBC News going on and on, over and over again about Trump, the hurricanes, and the Vegas shooting… And we’re in Canada!
Generally speaking we all wanna know what’s trending, what’s going on, what’s in and what’s out. We have to know what Trump said this time and we all have opinions on how to fix our country and many of us take our opinions to Facebook so we can tell everyone else that we have all the answers.
Of course, we take the likes we get on Facebook and we evaluate our self worth based on how many we get, buts that’s another post.
I can’t walk into a room without hearing about NFL players protesting during the national anthem, what jobs Trudeau killed this time, how awful Trump is, how long it’s going to be before we end up in a post apocalyptic world blown up by nuclear war and of course the biggest one, climate change.
It’s no wonder that more people than ever before suffer from an anxiety disorder and/or depression. One article I read today said that more than 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety and depression, and that’s not counting those who hide it.
Mankind has a lot to worry about. Doesn’t help that so many people out there will do whatever it takes to get their fifteen minutes. In the last month the world was supposed to end…again. The news keeps saying that global warming is going to kill us all and if that’s not enough, you can’t even go to a country music concert anymore without worrying about some nutjob with a gun!
During these unsettled times religion takes a hit and usually sees numbers grow at the same time. It takes a hit because many believe that religion is to blame for the world’s problem and it does well because many others turn to a “higher power” when things aren’t going well.
Take Christianity for example, another numerologist predicted the end of the world last month. Seeing as how we are now in October and the end was supposed to be on the 23rd of September, I’d say it’s safe to say he was wrong. I’m not bragging but I said he was wrong back in August because 1, the Bible is clear about who knows when that day will come and 2, everytime someone puts a date on it like that they’re usually just looking for some attention.
That guy made Christianity look like a doomsday cult just sitting and waiting for all the sinners to finally get what they deserve, he made it look like we’re excited about the end of the world. And at the same time, many Google Christianity in search of answers and in the off chance that he’s right, they wanna be prepared. And when people start looking for answers that’s when we can, as God’s children and Christ’s followers be there for them with some of those answers.
Anyway I kinda went off topic there, worry, there’s a lot of it, stress, anxiety, depression and all around sadness brought on by the news, weather and the impending doom some say is coming is really hard to deal with. What are we supposed to do with all of that? How do we not become depressed when everywhere you turn it’s all doom and gloom?
God has a lot to say about anxiety, 365 times His word instructs us “do not fear”. Here are just a few;
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
It’s easy to say to someone “don’t worry” if you aren’t someone who worries. Anxiety is a real thing and it can cause a slew of problems when it comes to your health. It can make your body do things that you have no control over – aches and pains, tremors and shakes, balance and dizziness problems, it can even make you break out in hives, cause temporary paralysis and even blindness! That’s why I think we should all use a little more compassion for anxiety sufferers out there, their worry may not be something they can control, or just snap out of.
God, on the other hand can give the advice of not worrying because when He came to earth in the form of a man – Jesus Christ – He suffered the same way all humans do. He had emotions, he experienced sadness, anxiety, temptation and ultimately rejection when He gave His life on the cross. He may have even had a full blown anxiety attack the night before His crucifixion when He prayed in the garden.
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Jesus’ soul was crushed, to the point of death. Luke described it like this; He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Sweating blood is a real thing, it’s called “hematohidrosis”. WebMD says this; “…condition in which capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture, causing them to exude blood, occurring under conditions of extreme physical or emotional stress.” It means that Jesus was under so much stress that he literally sweat blood, and instead of freaking out, He went to the Father and prayed.
I’ll say it again, it’s easy for me to say to an anxious person not to be anxious but I haven’t dealt with it, Jesus on the other hand has and I always say when in doubt do what Jesus did, in this case it’s prayer and ultimately surrendering to God and His will.
Our God knows about anxiety, He went through it, He felt it. He wants you to know that He is there for you, He loves you and will never leave you. He knows it’s isn’t easy and He will walk you through it.
God also knows what He’s doing, in the last few months my dear wife has been struggling with anxiety and I won’t get into those details here because I haven’t asked her if I can but I saw and continue to see God moving in this difficult time. From friends we didn’t know we had showing up at the exact right time to talk and show support, to family being there day and night showing unconditional love. I saw others being educated about mental illness through her trial, we heard radio programs on the way to a doctor’s appointment talking about anxiety and God’s role in that, not just once. Our church family surrounded us with prayer, love, shoulders to cry on, meals and babysitting duties. Our closest friends stayed by our side and didn’t leave, they prayed and prayed and prayed and let us know that they love us! God, is waay more than just a guy in the sky playing chess, He has a way of revealing Himself to His children andy wife and I agree, even though we’re still in the midst of a hard time, that we are better for it, and that’s because God has been carrying us through, like that picture that hangs in many houses showing the footprints in the sand. God doesn’t leave us, He carries us.
Thanks so much for reading and if you know someone who struggling with anxiety and depression let them know you care and pray for them, nobody should have to suffer alone.
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.