When worry or fear begin to interfere with normal thinking and functioning, doctors call it anxiety disorder―that is, disorder in our lives creates the anxiety, and more anxiety creates even more disorder.
What causes anxiety in the first place? One of the main culprits is chronic stress. Things like marital problems, financial pressures, relationship breakdowns, emotional traumas trigger the fight-or-flight responses in our bodies. This leads to increased blood pressure and heart rate, interrupted sleep patterns, digestion issues … and all of this leads to the chronic stress, which leads to anxiety, which leads to even more disorder!
But here’s the great news―Getting into God’s presence could be your greatest stress reliever!
There’s a story in 2 Kings of a woman who is clearly stressed out. Her husband has died, she’s exhausted all her resources trying to settle up with creditors, she has sold nearly everything in her home, and one creditor is ready to carry her sons off into slavery. Talk about anxiety!
Elisha asks this widow two questions:
- How can I help you? Jesus said that our Heavenly Father knows our needs before we even ask Him, but in the very next verse Jesus says, “This then is how you should pray…” (Matthew 6:8-9).
- What do you have? God will use even what we think is insignificant to show His superabundance in our lives!
God did meet this woman’s needs. He gave her enough to pay off her creditor. But that wasn’t all―God also gave this family enough to keep on living stress-free!
God Who, by the action of His power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think―infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams. (Ephesians 3:20, AMP)
Don’t try to carry all your stress yourself, cast ALL your anxiety on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
I’ll say it again―Getting into God’s presence could be your greatest stress reliever!