Anxiety is the natural result when
our thoughts are centred on anything short of God.
Jesus often used the phrase do not worry because He knew how easy it
would be for us to allow waves of anxiety to wash over us when
serious losses come our way. We saw earlier how important it is to
pray ourselves free from the dead-weight of trauma in the aftermath
of every major grief episode. We have also hinted, however, that as
surely as ju-jitsu fighters use the force of their opponent's charge
to throw them off balance, we must find ways to harness these strong
Often, it is the pressure that jolts
us into seeking the Lord more earnestly. If we feel reluctant to
embrace so decisive a break, it is worth reflecting that nothing may
change until certain issues are faced head-on. Think how unwise it
would be not to go to the dentist if toothache is raging!1
Reflect and Pray
Though I am surrounded by troubles,
You will protect me from my enemies . . .
The Lord will work out His plan for my life,
For Your faithful love, O Lord, endures for ever.
For those who feel caught between a past they are unable to escape,
and a future they are unable to face, there can be great power in
affirming the truths the Psalmist is declaring here. Let the Spirit
minister to specific areas you are struggling with.
Father, I give You the tensions that tussle in my soul,
and the fears that are knocking at my door.
Let anxiety not turn my heart to stone,
but rather let me catch these fears,
and turn them into prayer.
In the name of the One who puts fear to flight,
Resisting Pain-prone Reactions
Sorrow is a fruit. God does not make it grow on limbs too weak to
Whilst we have all watched people bearing hardship bravely, I am,
for obvious reasons, more concerned here to help people who are
faring less well. Dr Cecily Saunders once asked a patient in great
pain what it was he was looking for from those who were caring for
him. “For someone to look as if they are trying to understand me!”
Read More . . .
1 We have seen that "normal" grief embraces a host of unpleasant
symptoms. The question of when grief becomes "abnormal" is by no
means straightforward. In extreme cases, when people are exhibiting
extreme self-absorption, aggression, and a potentially dangerous
disconnection from reality that inclines them to refuse all offers
of help, there may come a point at which civil consciousness obliges
us to inform appropriate people - pastors, police, doctors, social
workers and so on, of their condition. We may have to wrestle with a
variety of issues here, associated not only with personal loyalty
but also the potential consequences, especially if we know and love
the person deeply. Integrity and wisdom, however, may occasionally
require us to be an instrument of referral.
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