We live today in an age of anxiety. It is an uninvited guest to our life. It could be personal, family, marital, job, relational, financial, global, and religious. We take anxiety or worries to bed with us, wake up with them, and carry them around with us all day. There could be many reasons why we feel anxious. It could be because of a feeling of inadequacy, I mean when we feel insignificant and incapable of doing anything about it. Sometimes it could be because of our attempt to change things we cannot control. Sometimes it could be because of misplaced priorities. Sometimes when we try to live tomorrow today we feel anxious. Anxious about what the future holds. 

According to the researchers, there are mainly six different types of anxiety disorders, each with its own distinct symptom profile such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD), panic disorder (anxiety attacks), phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), and social anxiety disorder.

Some suggest in order to overcome worry we need to adopt an attitude of gratitude. In other words, an attitude of joy and thankfulness.  When I heard about 700 million Indians who don't have access to electricity and 70% of Indians are living below the poverty line I become anxious thinking why the minds of our people are not opened? When I was growing up in an Indian village there were many reasons that made me anxious. Lack of English education, financial instability, lack of clarity about the future, career choice, following the lord as a part of a minority community, etc.

Just like anger and many other emotional expressions, anxiety is also normal behavior. There is a difference between normal anxiety and anxiety disorder. If anxiety is disturbing the quality of life it can be considered an anxiety disorder. What one needs to do is to find out the specific type of anxiety, accept it as a problem, find out the root causes and triggers, break them down to small manageable pieces, determination to change can help you free from anxiety. Remember one thing the call of God will never take you where the grace of God can't sustain you.

When I started to accept the uncertainty as normalcy I got free from anxiety to some extent. Another option is to develop one's self-confidence or learn more about one’s personality type and learn to believe in oneself. Believe that change is normal.  Seek professional help; talk with a counselor or a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.

Jesus talked about anxiety and said; Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, I will give you rest. Anxiety occurs when we face a situation and choose to rely upon our own merit and strength rather than upon God and His Word. Maybe we have forgotten that God can handle things better for us. A father once asked his son to move a huge rock and asked him to make use of all his resources. In the end, the son said to the father, I did my best and I am unable to move the rock an inch. Father asked him again did you use all your resources?'' Yes, I did, replied the son. Father responded to the son and said; I am also your resource. You did not ask me to help you. Sometimes it is true on our life journey we try to do things of our own, while ignoring the fact that God is also our strength and our resources. In one of the greatest passages of Scripture, Jesus confronts our futile anxiety (Matt. 6:25-34). He tells us to look at how God feeds the birds of the air and arrays the lilies of the field. How much more will He care for his children? Then Jesus says, "Do not be anxious" about the things of this world. Instead, give God the proper priority in our lives - "Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness" - and He will take care of the rest.

Binu B. Peniel

2013 (C) binu.peniel@gmail.com


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