Healing medicine for our anxious minds

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,” Proverbs 12:25 says.  For those of us who struggle with anxiety of any sort, we know all too well how true this is.

The world offers many suggestions to lift us from our anxieties, things like exercise, meditation, taking medicine or supplements, and laughter. Things like these are helpful and good; many are from hand of God.  However, I must confess: I sometimes reach for these as a pick-me-up or a quick-fix; they become my go-to form of therapy.  And while they might offer me some relief, beneath the surface, those anxieties are still there.

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“Far be it from you, Lord!”

“Far be it from you, Lord!

Have you ever said something like this to God?

“Far be it from you, Lord…
… to allow those innocent people to suffer like that.”
… to allow this sickness.”
… to allow me to suffer with this ‘thorn in the flesh.'”
… to put my family through this fiery trial.”
… to say ‘no’ to my prayer.”

I must admit that some of these statements sound pretty familiar, for I have have heard them in my own prayers at times. We suffer or see those we love suffering. We long for things to be made right, for everything to be “all better.” But they’re not (yet), and we become angry or hurt or confused, and we say, “Why, God? Far be it from you to allow this suffering!

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Rest for our souls

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
— Matthew 11:28-30

Oh, how we long for rest from the burdens of life.  For respite and relief from our problems and pain.  This passage gives us hope and comfort, yet we might also wonder about it.  We might feel a bit confused.  A yoke is undoubtedly a tool of work, one designed specifically for pulling heavy loads.  How can putting on Christ’s yoke offer us rest?

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