What if? These two words seem to occupy our minds a lot.
What if my child makes a poor choice? What if I lose my job?
What if I’m not doing enough as a mom? Our kids struggle with what if too. What if I get a bad grade on a test? What if I say something stupid in front of my friends and embarrass myself? After watching the news, our minds think what if a shooting happens close to our home? What if our town has a natural disaster like an earthquake, fire, or hurricane? What if there is another terrorist attack? What if, what if, what if…These thoughts can leave all of us living in fear and feeling worried, anxious, and stressed.
Recently, a loved one shared with me their struggle with anxiety. I love God’s timing because that same day, there was an email about Max Lucado’s new book in my inbox. In the email was a video from Max telling about his book, “Anxious about Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World.” As I listened to it, he shed some great insight on anxiety. I knew this book was a must read so I ordered it that day. The book was so great that I read it in about 2 days. It is full of powerful truth and I highly recommend this book to you as my October book choice!
Max says that “the presence of anxiety is unavoidable but the prison of anxiety is optional.” Wow- I love this statement. In his book, Max focuses on the verse, Phil 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing”. He says that this verse is referring to perpetual anxiety. Max says it means, “Don’t let anything in life leave you perpetually in angst and breathless.” He believes we were not made to live in a constant state of anxiety and worry. So how do we live like this? How do we not let fear of the “what if” occupy our minds?
Max shares this acronym for the word CALM to help us with our anxiety:
Celebrate God’s goodness: “Rejoice in the Lord Always” Phil 4:4
Ask God for help: “Let your Requests be made know to God” Phil 4:6
Leave your concerns with God: “With Thanksgiving” Phil 4:6
Meditate on good things: “Think about things that are good and worthy of praise.” Phil 4:8
I am going to start with the M because it was my favorite part of the book. Meditate on good things- our thoughts. Max says, “Healing from anxiety requires healthy thinking. Your challenge is not your challenge. Your challenge is the way you think about your challenge.” He shares about a mom whose daughter has had more than 55 surgeries in her 13 years of life. This mom could easily focus on all the negative but instead she made a list of all the positive things to keep her thoughts on- the blessing of enjoying each other’s presence outside of a hospital room or the blessing of an honorable team working tirelessly on her daughter’s care.