«Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you» (1 Peter 5:7, NIV).
MOMMY, when we get home, what will we do after we eat?» my son would always ask me. He wanted to know everything in advance and therefore could not manage to be completely present on the return trip, on the way home, on the journey. Perhaps you have come across similar questions coming from your children’s mouths: «What are we having for dinner tonight?» when perhaps they’re still sitting at the table eating their lunch.» What if I don’t pass the makeup exam?» when maybe they have not even taken the first exam, so they do not know if they will need to take a second one. These are typical anxieties of children and adolescents, which may sound humorous coming from their mouths, but it is rather sad when we are the ones who pronounce these kinds of words, because they denote anxiety inside us.
Anxiety is one of the most common symptoms reported in psychologist consultations around the world, followed by depression, and I do not think it is a coincidence, but there is a direct relationship between the two. The Bible says: «Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression» (Proverbs 12:25), and depression is a dark place that we need to try to avoid at all costs.
It would be naive to think that because we are Christians, we are no longer prone to problems of anxiety because of the uncertainty that the future generates. Of course, we have them—we are human and no one is free from feeling the full range of emotions. The important thing is to be aware that feeling emotions such as anxiety does not mean that you have no faith, or that you are not a good Christian. It means that the Christian path is one of progress, advancement, and growth, and that some answers do not come overnight. That does not mean that we cannot work intelligently on the better management of negative emotions and a progressive increase in our trust in Jesus, who has left us His peace so that our hearts will not be troubled (see John 14:27).
We read in Philippians 4:6,7: «Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.» Let us start with these steps: I) praying to God, knowing that He hears us; and 2) giving thanks for what we are living in the present.