I think it’s safe to say that we are all struggling during these times. With all the negativity from the media stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and all the other bad things going on in the world, it eventually starts to sound like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons (i.e. blah-blah-blah-blah). It gets so annoying that it makes you want to turn off the TV and sit in silence for a few minutes. We are all getting anxious because of it.
I admit wholeheartedly that I am one of those people. Trust me, I try to avoid it as much as I possibly can throughout the day, and I suffer from enough anxiety as it is, so I don’t need that kind of stuff in my life.
But how do I get through it? Well, it’s kind of simple really, and it comes from Philippians 4:6. I originally found this verse one day during one of the summers I was working. That day was sort of like what many people are feeling right now; Down in the dumps, mental health not up to par, and just in a daze. It was then that I decided to open up my Bible app, and in the search bar I typed, “what does the bible say about anxiety”, and the verse in question came up:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Notice the verse also says “In every situation”. This means that it’s not just about anxiousness. People don’t just go through that, and there are a lot more things in this world that can affect mental health than just anxiousness. The point is, whenever you do feel not up to par, just take a moment, go to another room or pray silently, and as the verse says, “present your requests to God”. Small disclaimer, and this comes from experience; don’t expect your request to be done immediately. Let God’s timing work out. I have to eat my own words here because if you’ve known me long enough you know that I am quite stubborn and get very impatient.
Additionally, the verse says “with thanksgiving”. This means don’t let your prayers consist of, “I want, I want, I want”. Instead, thank God first. Can’t think of anything to give thanks for? Well, there are a lot of basic things you can thank him for. First off, like it says in the book of Lamentations:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
You have new blessings that are new every morning, that’s something to be thankful for. Then there are the material things: you have a roof over your head, you have food on your table, and you have life. There are many in this world who do not have all of these things. Here’s the truth: there are a plethora of things I can think of right now sitting down writing this column, but I won’t mention them all because the article will turn from two to ten pages long.
So, whenever you are feeling down in the dumps or just not feeling right, simply follow Philippians 4:6, “by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Thank God for the good, pray for bad, let God’s timing do the rest. Simple, right? Because with God, it’s going to be ok.