Word Wednesday Nugget Be Anxious for Nothing Dr. Rebekah McCloud

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A friend posted on her Facebook page a conversation between Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet. Pooh told Piglet that he was scared and anxious because people were so angry, things in the world were not getting any better, and in fact, he felt they were getting worse. Piglet responded that he could not change the world, but he could, “make sure that you know that I am here. And that I will always be here, to listen; and to support you; and for you to know that you are heard. I can’t make those Anxious Feelings go away, not really. But I can promise you that, all the time I have breath left in my body…you won’t ever need to feel those Anxious Feelings alone.”

Sound familiar? Winnie-the-Pooh, a collection of children’s stories by A. A. Milne, was published in 1926. Nearly 100 years ago there was anxiety about human actions and world events. Since the beginning of time, there have been wars, rumors of wars, and people behaving badly. Interestingly, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The Bible chronicles many instances of anxiety.

Anxious means to experience nervousness, unease, or worry about upcoming events or uncertain outcomes. While the words anxious/anxiety do not appear in the Bible often: 8 times in the English Standard Version (ESV), 7 in the New International Version (NIV), and not at all in the King James Version (KJV); a variety of synonyms such as worry, distress, heaviness, trouble, and cares are found. A Bible search yielded 53 verses about anxiety.

It is easy to see why some of us worry. There is so much going on. However, there is not much we can do about or can gain from worrying. Luke 12:25-26 says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Mark Twain said once, “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.” Remember, Jesus paid the price. 

The anxiety produced by drama and discord is all around us; just turn on the television, listen to the radio, scroll through social media, drive your car, shop at any store, dine out, go to work, attend church, socialize with family and friends, you name it. No matter the circumstance, the Lord is there. Psalm 94:19 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” 1 Peter 5:7 encourages us to, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

It has been said that the root of anxiety is the lack of faith. To overcome it, the Bible tells us to pray and supplicate. Philippians 4: 6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

At the end of the conversation between Pooh and Piglet, Pooh “could feel some of those Anxious Feelings start to loosen their grip on him and could feel one or two of them start to slither away into the forest.” He was grateful for his friend Piglet. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”

For many, the beginning of a new year is a time that can be fraught with anxiety. The Lord wants us to be free from anxieties (1 Corinthians 7:32). Remember that the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) has sent us a comforter, a helper, a friend, the Holy Spirit to be with us (John 14:16, 26). Be encouraged. “Say with confidence, the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid,” (Hebrews 13:6). Seek the Lord while he may be found (Isaiah 55:6). Trust and believe in him, for no word from him will ever fail (Luke 1:37).

Like Pooh, let those Anxious Feelings loosen their grip and slither away. “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” (2 Timothy 1:7). Walk boldly into 2024 and throughout the year, stand anchored in the Lord.

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