There was a certain fellow who used to work for a company called Fruitcommerce. This chap was perpetually sullen and anxious. He was constantly on edge and anything awkward, however small, would make him jump out of his skin.
He would worry from morning to evening and his colleagues could tell something was terribly wrong with him. After working with him for quite a time, they realized that his cause of anxiety and unabated worry were the issues of life such as insufficient money to meet needs and wants, psychological pressures arising from his family, and many more.
They tried to calm him down to no avail.
Years passed and the guy remained in the same state of apprehension. Then one day, very early in the morning, he came to the work in a convivial mood. He was seen greeting everybody. At the same time, he wore a genuine smile and looked decompressed. He appeared not to worry anymore
One of his colleagues – Sophia – approached him and asked, “ Mr Sansa, today you appear merry! What has changed? You got a promotion?” She continued, “Where did you take your worry?”
Sansa responded, “I don’t have worry anymore.”
The colleague prodded, “Where did you take it?”
“I hired somebody to worry for me,” Sansa answered.
“Okay, now, how much do you pay the worrier?” She continued to inquire, and Sansa would quickly reply, “I pay him twenty thousand dollars per month.”
“That’s incredible!” Said Sophia, “Where in the world do you get that amount of money?”
Without a moment passing, Sansa explained, “It is upon him to worry about his pay. That is part of his job description.”
Anxiety spares none of us. However, the way we manage it differs from one person to another. Is it possible that we can find peace in the midst of stressful life?
It is conceivable that we can halt the deadly downward spiral of anxiety. We still have one hope even when worrisome situations seem to engulf us wholesale. This one remaining hope is God. He is the only one in control of all things including our very own lives.
Laurie London was right when he famously sang, ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands.’ We are enveloped in His unending love.
‘For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.’
Can you imagine what would happen if mean-looking thugs ordered you to lie down in your car but instead you raise rumpus? Or they drive you around as you lament and ask for mercy from them?
I have been there and I shudder at the thought of what would have happened if I had tried challenging them.
Some battles are better left alone. We do not have to fight all battles. In many occasions, it makes sense to sit calm, relaxed and yet prayerful.
“I had the blues because I had no shoes, Until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”
We vacate our anxieties in the hands of God when we realize He is greater than all. We do this through praying like King Hezekiah.
‘ Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.
“It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”’
2 Kings 19:14-19 (NIV)
In addition, we smother devastating flames of anxiety by praising God like Paul and Silas.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
Acts 16:25-26 (NIV)
Daniel understood from the Scriptures that the Israelites were to stay in captivity for 70 years only. Armed with this knowledge, Daniel pleaded with the God for the fulfilment of His word. We surrender our anxieties to God when we study the Scriptures. Therein lies the answer to our problem.
‘In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.’
Daniel 9:1-3 (NIV)
I love Deitrick Haddon’s song, He’s able. There is a line that goes like this, ‘Don’t give up on God, cause He won’t give up on you.’ We have to stay in Him, even when the sea gets stormy. He is the only hope of our life.
‘I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.’
Psalm 16:8 (NIV)