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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Help, my anxiety switch is stuck ON!

by Jon Huizenga

Meeting Virtually Sundays at 10 am facebook.com/riseupchurch

I had a conversation with a nurse who is under the stress of caring for patients, her family and herself in this heightened COVID-19 moment. After we talked, I thought, “Her anxiety switch is stuck on ON.” I recognized that because it happens to me. Does it to you? You get so caught up in the noises in your head and in the world that it is hard to concentrate on anything. Your mind is flitting around, not landing anywhere. In her case, she has good reasons for anxiety. There are many things for her to think through and handle carefully. And there are dangers.

What she said was, “I need to get some exercise and talk to God about it.” Yep. That sounds about perfect.

I do not know if I can help you with exercise. But I can help you talk to God about it! Try this if your anxiety switch is stuck on ON: 

Stop flitting around. Take three to five deep breaths. Then, read these words from the Bible, maybe out loud:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;

8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

( Psalm 121, New International Version)

Jesus, also known as God’s Son, often called “Immanuel,” which means “God-with-us,” said the same thing in short form:

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV)

After you read, here is a prayer you could pray:

God, I turn down the noise and the flitting around and I pause to listen to you. Where does peace come from? It comes from you, God the Father, maker of the heavens and the earth. It comes from you, Lord Jesus, forgiver, healer, and king. It comes from you, Holy Spirit, the helper Jesus promised to send. You are offering peace. I receive it right now. Help me embrace it and lean into it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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