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Do not be anxious about anything!

by The Rev. Nigel Mumford

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

Fear, worry and anxiety are three of the most pressing issues presented at the Healing Center at Christ the King and the healing mission around the country. How ironic, as I sit in my home office trying to write this, sipping on my coffee at 5.10 am. It occurs to me that there is a nudging of fear and anxiety within me! What shall I write about God? Will I get this article out on time? Will the words really address the issue? That familiar uncomfortable feeling at the bottom of the sternum - that little stirring - my body agreeing with my mind which says, “Hey Nigel. Something is not quite right here. I have a routine each morning, and part of that routine is to feed the cat and dog. Today, as if she knew, the cat has joined me sitting on my lap at the computer. Normally she knocks on the bedroom door! She has now stopped purring, very content sitting on my lap without a care in the world. She is not anxious about anything. Perhaps I could take a lesson from the kitty!

Fear is an underlying issue when it comes to health and healing. We are presented with many mind racing possibilities with thoughts of what might happen…able to happen, but not happened yet. The mind journey of self indulgence is filled with “What if?” But, what if?

Many report a feeling of utter peace after being prayed for. How can we stop the fly wheel which spins the anxiety from which so many suffer? The Bible writes, “We know that God did not give us a Spirit of fear but a Spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim 1:7) This is a good place to start, i.e., standing on the promise of love and healing. Thank God, Paul is rather blunt in his quote, “Do not be anxious about anything.” I feel like I want to add, “Are there any questions?” Paul is saying in no uncertain terms, that through Christ, we have no need to be anxious; that we must not be anxious; and that we need not be nervous, worried, concerned, uneasy, restless, apprehensive, fretful or fearful about anything because of Christ Jesus.

Someone once wisely said, “If you worry, you die. And if you don’t worry, you die. So, why worry?” Paul says the Lord is near. There is no need to worry. What is worry? Worry is mind filled, back pack filled, stomach filled of unseen and unknown possibilities. It is the unknown quantity man has feared since the beginning of time. Where is Cain? said Able. How big was that dinosaur? How deep is that river?

We have feared many things in the past, but, today, there is good news. “The peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” If only we could remember that peace. Anxiety builds in waiting for a test result. Let’s face it. Anxiety, fear and worry are really based on the unknown. So how can we remember how to have faith? How can we rejoice Paul always? We can present everything that is bothering us to God through prayer, thanksgiving and petition, and then comes the peace - that Godly peace, which comes about in guarding our hearts and minds. Paul writes, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” Perhaps we need to include ourselves in this gentleness? Now, there is a novel thought!

The secular dictionary informs us that anxiety “is uneasiness usually over an expected misfortune.” The DSM4 (a diagnostic book for therapists) lists anxiety disorders where people can become overwhelmed with this issue and caught up in the macerations of the mind. I wonder if Joseph was a little anxious trying to find a place for the night for his pregnant wife, Mary. Was Peter anxious about getting out of the boat? How about King Hezekiah? He was told by an angel to get his life in order…for he would soon die. Do you think he was a little anxious? He wept bitterly and then heard the words, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.” He got 15 more years of life… Think of Moses when parting the waters. I am sure he was fine because of faith. But, how about all those who followed him? Oh my, will you look at that wall of water? Do you think they might have been a little anxious?

Anxiety is a human trait. It is part of who we are, but can get out of hand. We might need help if it is escalated. I find it fascinating that even Paul wrote about it all those years ago, “Do not be anxious…” That is not a suggestion. It is a command. Paul, in underlying and reinforcing this issue said, “Rejoice, again I say rejoice” We need to rejoice more. We need to “Let your gentleness be evident to all,” even ourselves! Make your request known to God. He is the healer. He will look after us. This I have, no doubt.

My dear brothers and sisters, pray into the anxiety, give it to the Lord. Do not be anxious about anything. Allow the peace of God to be with you. Thank you, God, for your blessings of peace.

Be well, do good works and for God’s sake love one another…

In the healing love and compassion of Christ,

The Rev. Nigel Mumford
Director, Healing Ministry
Christ the King Spiritual Life Center.

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