Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a glad heart

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.
Proverbs 12:25

Have you ever been anxious before? Dictionary.com defines "Anxiety" as "a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future misfortune, danger, etc; worry." Feeling anxious has to be one of the worst feelings ever. Have you ever been near someone who is feeling anxious? Just today I was with a client who began to experience anxiousness over potential fears in social settings. The "what if's" of life began to take over his mind and I could see him beginning to sweat, his breaths began to get more shallow and his eyes widened with a distinct stare. I literally could "see the fear in his eyes."

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.

This man's heart was literally being weighed down by his anxiety. As I saw him struggling, I began to think to myself, "I am no different from this man." There have often been times when my heart has been weighed down by worry. Unfortunately, too often I have fallen victim to this worry and let it affect my mind, emotions and even physical health. As I began to speak soft comforting words to him and use deep breathing techniques to help calm him down, I wondered, "What am I using to comfort myself?"
I think there is a reason why the Bible addresses worry and why it is so important that we battle against the worry that so easily tries to weigh us down. I think that worry is a natural human feeling. As humans, we naturally worry about a multitude of things at any age. When I was growing up it was mostly "Will 'they' like me?", "Will I ever have a boyfriend?", "Am I going to make it through this grade?" to "What will I major in?", "Will I have enough money for college?" to "Was this the right choice?", "Will I make enough money for rent/groceries/travel?", "Should I get married?". Worry has been my constant companion.
Sometimes I like to think that I don't worry as much as "this or that person," but I have recently come to a painful truth. I am a worrier. My worry has gotten so bad that I went to see the doctor because of severe stomach pains (a build up of too much acid in my system).
To break it down simply, I am fully aware that worry = lack of trust in God. A recent Bible App. I downloaded sums it up perfectly.

"[Worry] does not mean that you don't take responsibility for the things you are supposed to to handle; it just means that you know when you stop and God begins."

The awesome thing about all of this is, I don't have to feel powerless when faced with worry. Bible reading has always been a struggle for me. I LOVE the Bible, but when it comes to reading it consistently, I struggle. However, God has been supplying me with the strength to read the Bible every morning before work. I wake up to God's word speaking peace into my heart.

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.

This verse is SO true. Whether you believe in God or not, if you have ever been worried about something, you have felt the weight of it on your heart. Now, think about the feeling you get when a good word is spoken to you... "Everything is going to be ok", "You are going to make it through this", "I am here for you".... BAM! A glad heart is born!
There are so many verses in the Bible that proclaim these truths that hold the power to take a heart that is weighed down with the worries of this life and make it glad. I have experience the peace and power God has over worry, and though I still struggle (often more than I'd like), I know that God is renewing me day by day and helping me trust in His control over my life.

What a blessing it is to experience a glad heart.

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