"Anxiety weighs down the human heart..."
"Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up." (Proverbs 12:25)
Ever felt out of place? Take a close look at that bird on the church roof in front of the tree. It's not a rooster, a pregnant pigeon, or some other sort of fowl that one might expect to see on a rooftop. It's a Canadian goose. Talk about out of place. Lately birds have been doing some pretty strange things around the church, but that's another story.
Anxiety is what we're experiencing when we say we feel, "out of place." A little bit of anxiety is normal. Sometimes a little anxiety helps to wake us up or get us ready for some particular task we might be facing. However, just like the proverb says, too much anxiety can weigh down the human heart.
For those who are cursed with experiencing too much anxiety, life can often become a living nightmare. The anxiety can take so many forms, everything from phobias (ie. fear of something like high places), obsessive thoughts (thoughts that get stuck in a person's head like fly paper that can't be shaken), difficulty focusing, a sense of dread, even panic attacks and that "I feel like I don't belong" sort of experience. Anxiety can weigh down a human heart so much that it can paralyze its victim.
What's also strange about the "too much" kind of anxiety is that for those who never experience it the trials and difficulties of those who do seem really weird and difficult to comprehend. If we're in the "not experiencing it" group we might wonder why those in the "experiencing it" camp just can't get along and get through like the rest of us. It's a short jump from that thought to judgment of those who suffer from too much anxiety. Yet, once more the proverb is right, "... a good word cheers it up," meaning that support and understanding instead of judgment can aid in the healing.
Like Mike said when he saw the goose on the church roof, "Look, even a Canadian goose can find refuge at God's House." No one is out of place in God's house and in God's sight. In sending his Son, God makes it abundantly clear that he wants to know our every pain, including heart-burdening anxiety, and also wants our healing. Too much anxiety, like other misunderstood illnesses, needs many forms of healing including prayer, understanding, patience, coaching, and sometimes medical interventions.
I pray that when I experience too much anxiety (which has happened at times in the past) I will continue to seek God's healing. I also pray that when I see too much anxiety in others I will speak, "the good word," that offers support instead of judgment. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.
Check out my new video, "Teens Surviving the Storm"