How to Ease Anxiety for the Rest of 2020 and Beyond.
Most of the time I am intentionally uninformed. I do not watch the news and only occasionally read my news feed. Honestly, I avoid it most days. I have now taken myself off scrolling social media and only login for specific purposes - like getting the local high school football score. Go Raiders! If anything “big” happens, someone usually tells me anyway. After all, we are the world of instant access to everything good and bad. You know, there really should be more good news channels…that report the good deeds, healed sickness, and happy endings, but I digress.
Speaking of bad, I decided to google all the bad things that happened in 2020 for the sake of writing this blog. Don’t do it! Of course, this list contains things like bushfires, impeachment trials, protests, murder hornets, hurricanes, wildfires, too many deaths for too many reasons, and, of course, the unprecedented pandemic brought on by COVID. Oh wait, I forgot the election. Yeah, there’s that. Those are only the big headlines. That does not take into account all the personal things that have happened in our own personal circles of family and friends.
It’s certainly more than enough to make us run fearful like my dog does when he is scared…tail tucked dashing under the bed to hide. That’s exactly why I usually avoid most of the anxiety producing news and social media. Life has enough of its own stress right here in my own little world. My attempts are futile these days. There is just too much going on in 2020. And, if I am not tuned in, it’s all the talk. Everywhere I go.
Studies have shown that we are already an anxious nation. 2020 has made us even more so. What can we do to ease the anxiety?
Put down our phones.
Turn off the TV.
Get into the Word.
Go to the true source of peace.
Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)
Find the everlasting love.
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 9:35,37,39 (NLT)
Fix our eyes on the eternal.
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT)
Cling to the hope.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for our God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Hebrews 10:23 (NLT) “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.” Hebrews 6:19 (NLT)
It really doesn’t do us any good to meditate on all the bad…all the time. As much as I would like to control all the things going on around me (and the people, too), I can’t. There is very little that we can really control in this world. Very little.
However, the One who brought light into darkness, who hung the stars and planets in place, who created every living creature that crawls up on the earth, swims in the sea, and flies through the air, and the One who breathed the very breath into the first man, He can.
He speaks peace, love, hope and life to us in His Word. He tells us over and over again to trust him and be anxious for nothing...that includes the rest of 2020 and beyond.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Psalm 41:10 NLT
Spend some time each day scrolling through scripture. Listen for God’s Word to speak peace over your anxious hearts. He will strengthen you and help you. He is in control and loves you with an everlasting love.
Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash