Anxious? There’s hope!

by Pastor Tim White

There is a place where no one is anxious.  Really, this isn’t a joke.  Well, a little bit of a joke. When we think of anxiety-free zones we think of Shangri-La, “The Land that Time Forgot” (oh that one doesn’t work), Disneyland, Hawaii, or Jamaica (where they don’t worry, they’re just happy).  But really there is only one place -- it is the city cemetery.  That was one of my friends, Norman Vincent Peale’s, favorite jokes.  Now he is in the cemetery (well, really, he is in heaven).  But his message was “If you are alive there is always some stress.”  Minimizing that stress, using it as motivation and the ability to rest from it is what is important for our survival.  

Yes, I know I preach about peace all the time.  But sometimes, I am anxious.  The Bible says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice”.  As everyone knows, Jackie and I are moving to a new house somewhere in the area, after living in our beloved home for 34 years.  Man, we were really stressing it.  We were assured by our friend Debbie Walter, who has been such a great Real Estate agent through this process, that we could do it.  But moving out in just a short time was almost impossible.  We had so much help from our friends and neighbors.  But the coup de gras was Sunday after church.  Rob McJunkin asked me if we needed any help and I said, “No, Rob, you have a bad back and we don’t want any of our friends to have to work on this beautiful Labor Day weekend”.  Well, when I pulled up to our house after driving to our daughter and son-in-law’s house to change clothes, I could not believe my eyes. There were so many people there, I could barely find a parking place to get to our house.  I have to admit, my eyes watered profusely, but it was probably just my allergies.  It was a tear-jerking miracle. 

This is just another example of how God wants to share our deepest insecurities, worries and fatigue.  This week’s study is the launch of a new series, “Hope, When There is No Room to Hope,” on the mission statement of Jesus Christ, which can be found in Isaiah 61. It was put another way in Philippians 4, when the apostle Paul says for us not to worry, but to rejoice in the Lord. Pray about everything, yet we don’t always do it.  Why?  And what can we do about this problem that is rocking the foundation of many of us and preventing us from being the people that we were meant to be?  Yes, I am one who does too much worrying.  Anxieties get the best of me.  I know that is shocking to you, but I am trusting God for a miracle in my life.  Won’t you come this weekend and experience the miracle with me?