September 23 – Anxiety – The Weight of Anxiety

Read Proverbs 12:25

Nearing the end of my college career at Ohio State, I had my first engineering position lined up and was extremely excited to be graduating and moving out of state for this new endeavor. Things had lined up really well with accepting a job offer at my 1st choice employer prior to graduation, making the last half of my senior year low stress. 

At least, so I thought, until the latter half events of my senior year started to unfold.

During 2003, the conflict and unrest with Afghanistan was increasing and the United States was beginning talks of intervening. The situation was one I monitored closely as I enlisted in the Ohio Air National Guard coming out of high school and served during my college career.  As my enlistment was scheduled to complete in March of 2003, the unrest in Afghanistan was high, making my near-term future very unclear.  Needless to say, there were many anxious days and nights, waiting to see if God would change my life direction towards serving in the Middle East or continue my intended civilian career path.

Today’s text summed up my emotional state quite well during this time:

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up”.

All of us have had their fair share of anxious times during the last year, fighting through personal, family, work, and just stressful times in our country.  If you’ve had a chance to be encouraged by a friend via text or a phone call, you know what that can do to lift your spirits and ease those anxious thoughts.  Anxiety is our soul’s prompt that it’s time to pray and only Jesus can provide the ultimate relief to our uneasy situations. 

God guided my path in college and, as my enlistment ended, 3 days later the U.S. entered into Afghanistan. I had prepared my mind and heart for whatever His plan was but not without anxious thoughts of the unknown path.

Two quick takeaways for those anxious thoughts this week:

  1. Reach out to a friend and tell them about what’s causing anxious thoughts for you and seek prayer support, but also ask what is on their mind that you can pray for them. Never underestimate what praying for someone else can do to help change your perspective.
  2. Pray in the morning, evening – giving Him thanks for the good days and presenting your concerns in the midst of conflict.

Jesus is there to listen to our fears and anxious thoughts, give them all to Him today!

Drew Hilty

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