Life Brings Anxiety
by Gini Crawford, MSW
Job and his struggles equal anxiety
Anxiety is a common place emotion in God's Word. In the book of Job in the twenty-first chapter, anxiety is clearly defined for us through Job's honest reaction to his suffering, and his hard experiences.
When I think about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body. Job 21:6 NIV
Job in this verse literally explains to us how anxiety begins and acts in us. He was saying, anxiety seized him every time he thought about his terrifying experiences.
If you aren't familiar with the book of Job, here is a summary of his nightmarish experiences: Job lost all his earthly wealth. His children were killed all at once. He was afflicted with sores from his head to his feet. His wife and friends put him down or blamed him for his problems. Satan was also after Job to destroy his faith in God.
Can't hide from anxiety
One of the main struggles of anxiety is, we can't always get away from what is making us anxious. Here are some anxiety producing sources that are not for the most part sin, but unfortunately you can't always get away from them to stop your anxiety.
Genetic source: Research has shown some people are genetically more prone to anxiety; this seems especially true for some women.
Medical source: Health problems can lead to high levels of anxiety - such as cancer, lupus, arthritis, thyroid problems, infections and so on.
Substance source: Certain substances can induce anxiety - such as alcohol, caffeine, legal or illegal drugs. I just finished a strong antibiotic that made me slightly anxious for awhile.
Traumatic experience source: Anxiety can be a major struggle in our life after a hard experience. An example: a rape victim will have fearful triggers that will set off anxiety such as remembering the rape or every time she passes the place she was raped.
Relational source: Some people can make you anxious: Your boss because he has power over your raises, an aunt because she is critical, your unreasonable neighbor and so forth.
If you are struggling with constant anxiety just dealing with normal situations, it would be good to see a trusted doctor. You might need some anti-anxiety medicine. When you have excessive-constant-persistent anxiety, what is happening is your mind and body are abnormally over-reacting to things-situations it should not be. This constant anxiety, as you can imagine, makes it hard to deal with life because it seems no matter what you do you are anxious. There are medicines that can help your mind calm your abnormal anxiety. A friend told me before she started taking anti-anxiety medicine, about anything said or done would get her anxious, so she was always an emotional wreck. She said, "It was even hard to pray."
The feelings of anxiety in God's Word
If you do a study of words that describe feelings of anxiety such as distress, tremble and so on, you will see how commonplace anxious reactions are in the Bible. This is because God's Word is of course about God, but also about people, their stories and struggles. Look up these verses from Psalms that describe anxious feelings:
- Psalm 18:6
- Psalm 25:17
- Psalm 31:9
- Psalm 59:16
- Psalm 69:17
- Psalm 94:19
- Psalm 102:2
- Psalm 106:44
- Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28
- Psalm 139:23
Any thoughts or insights on anxiety from God's Word?
Meditate on your favorite verse from the list above for a few minutes.