I recently found myself suffering from anxiety to the point where I almost became physically ill. It all stemmed from some little things that I was worrying about and before I knew it, other things began to crop up which ordinarily wouldn’t have been a big deal but considering my state of mind, it became a massive deal.
I found myself gradually slipping deeper and deeper into a spiral but I did what I knew to do in such circumstances - I cried out to God and He rescued me. I began to take encouragement from His word and I realised I wasn’t the only one. Ask Elijah when he thought he was the only one left among the prophets. He became fearful when Jezebel threatened his life. This was a man who stood toe to toe against the prophets of Baal but the threat of one woman set him running out of town into the desert.
Fear led to anxiety and anxiety led to depression and Elijah became suicidal. At Elijah’s lowest , God showed up. He made Elijah realise that contrary to what he thought, he wasn’t the only prophet left. God had made arrangements to hide 5000 other prophets - but Elijah did not know this.
Thousands of years later, a woman was anxiously making arrangements for guests in her home. She was running around to make sure that everything was perfect and in place. Imagine her frustration seeing her sister sitting down at Jesus’ feet, listening with rapt attention to what He was saying. Martha must have walked past Mary several times, trying to catch her eyes and signalling to her, ‘Come on Mary, we have work to do!’ But Mary wasn’t paying attention to her sister, she was milking up everything Jesus was saying.
Probably after making several overt and covert attempts at getting her sister’s attention, Martha blurted out, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40) She clearly didn’t care at that point that she was interrupting Jesus. She was worried that things would not get ready on time while Mary was sitting around doing nothing. She likely expected Jesus to rebuke her sister for not helping her out but that wasn’t going to happen. “Martha, Martha”, Jesus answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
I have read this account many times but as I draw strength from the word during this recent episode of anxiety, I felt the Lord speaking to me. I was indeed worried about many things and when I didn’t deal with the worry, a build up of anxious thoughts was formed and I began to lose the joy and peace that comes from walking with the Lord. When I made a conscious decision to let go, I realised that only one thing mattered - I needed to trust in Jesus. I needed to trust in His word and I needed to cast my cares on Him because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)
Before long, the anxious thoughts began to dissipate. I began to realise that some of those things that bothered me were already being resolved without my knowing it. I realised that anxiety is one of those tools that the enemy of our soul uses to steal the joy and peace God gives us.
Are you worried or anxious? I leave you with the following scriptures;
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)
Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)
Steve Popoola is the Editor and Founder of Biblepraise Fellowship Online