Anxious Times

2020 has been a year like no other, and it’s only May! We’ve learnt new words such as ‘coronavirus’, ‘furlough’ and ‘social-distancing’. Seeing someone wearing a face mask in public no longer seems unusual. Personally, I’ve never washed my hands as much, and getting the urge to cough in public feels like a crime.

These times will lead many to feel anxious. Questions may come to mind like “can we pay the bills this month?”.

If you or a loved one has underlying health issues you may wonder “is it safe to go out?” and “am I at risk if I do?”

Many will be prevented from pursuing hobbies, or seeing family and close friends.

Others can no longer go on the holiday they so desperately needed.  These can all be reasons to feel uncertain.

Those who have a faith are certainly not immune from these feelings, but they can find a lot of comfort in the Bible.

An anxious thought may be answered with “God is in control of my life”, and Bible passages like Psalm 115 : 11 brought to mind:

“You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD!
He is their help and their shield”

Or Psalm 34 : 7:

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.”

The Bible explains that between birth and death we experience all sorts of emotions, from the joys of laughing and rejoicing in dance to the lows of weeping and mourning (Ecclesiastes 3 : 4).

Some may even feel that they’re almost broken, or that the burning flame within them is about to go out; well remarkably the Bible tells that a man called Jesus would be sympathetic to us when we are feeling like this...

“... a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench...”

Jesus was one who saw many in need and helped, healed and strengthened them.

Many anxieties during these “lockdown” times will be about when will my life become normal again? The Bible speaks to us about these feelings; consider this passage in Matthew 6:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Let us then try not to be anxious about the day to day but instead to trust in God and focus upon the wonderful hope for the future that the Bible contains.

The passage in Matthew moves on from anxiety to encourage us to have a new focus in life:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”

Maybe now is a time to pick up your Bible and find the wonders and comforts it contains.