I understand being anxious.
Not in the “looking forward to” sense or the “can hardly wait” sense but in the “aaaiiieee” sense. And I understand that what I’m about to write is easier to say than to do. But that isn’t a reason to not write it.
Paul makes a very simple statement in Philippians 4. He says, “Don’t be anxious about anything.”
That sounds like scolding, a little bit. “Buck up. Everything will be okay.” Or, “Quit yer whinin’, ya wimp.” Or, “If you really were a Christian, a good Christian, you wouldn’t be anxious.”
I’ve been told things like that. I’ve probably been understood to say them. But Paul’s not saying those things.
“You know how it helps sometimes to have someone to talk to? You know how saying things out loud clarifies them? You know how asking the right person often means that something can be done? You know how when you finally quit trying to fix everything and ask for help, you might get help? You know how when you take one little step of trusting, sometimes everything changes?
Take everything you are thinking about and everything you are keeping inside your head and heart and tell God about them. Out loud. However it comes out: incoherently and angrily and passionately and stream of consciously and interspersed with laughter and incredulity that you are talking to God about huge and tiny things all together.”
Okay, technically he says,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
But I’m pretty sure that what he means is what I said. Because that’s what it looks like when I actually stop running and troubleshooting long enough to find a soundproof room and do what he says.
Tomorrow, the next part of the story. For today, try that much.