Hi everyone! This is Maria. The last time I posted I gave you all a practical run-down on what I've been doing here in Romania. Today I want to share about one of the topics I feel like God has been teaching me about...spiritually and emotionally speaking...through this past week and a half. It's anxiety.
I don't mean anxiety as in a psychologically diagnosed disorder in which one lives in a constant state of borderline fear and is plagued by irrational phobias. No, instead I'm referring to the kind of anxiety over getting your volunteer visa (current struggle of mine), overcoming a language barrier, and just the general tasks and minor trials of day to day life here as an intern.
I wasn't new to this kind of minor anxiety/worry before coming to Romania. I'm a planner, maybe a small bit of a control freak. So I enjoy knowing exactly what I'm going to be doing at exactly every hour of every day in every month of every year...for the next 15 years. :) All that to say, when my plan is not God's plan, you can see that I feel a little bit of stress as I attempt to trust Him and HIs timing for my life.
I would also venture to say that even if you aren't a planner/super organized person, you've experienced stress, worry, or anxiety before. In fact, I believe that it's part of human nature to want to know what will happen in your life. We crave knowledge. And when we don't have the knowledge we think we need (because God hasn't revealed His plan to us), we feel tense, nervous. Anxious, to use my theme word. :) But that's not how God wants us to react.
In the Bible, there are many verses encouraging us humans to turn from anxiety to God. During my own quiet time these past few days I've been reflecting on several. For instance, Matthew 6:25-34 describes the downright pointlessness of worry, as Jesus says,
“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. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
I'm sorry that was such a long passage, but please take time to read it. Through effective literary devices like rhetorical questions and relatable examples from nature, Jesus presents the solution to the constant problem of worrying over everyday issues. That solution is peace from God, peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
So how do you get this peace? Well, God, being an ever-loving God, gives it to us as we give our burdens to Him. 1 Peter 5:6-7 is a great verse that shows us this concept, as Paul states,
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you."
To conclude, I challenge you to simply pray about any worry you may have in your life. Pray that God would relieve/free you of the burden of unnecessary worry. It may be remarkable to you (as it was to me this past week) how tangible the feeling of peace is after surrendering your problems to your God.
Thank you for reading!