The Antidote to Anxiety
In the New Testament, the Greek word that is translated “anxiety” is an interesting word. It means for someone to be pulled apart, drawn in opposite directions, or divided into parts. When we are anxious about tomorrow, we are being distracted from what is directly in front of us, and our attention is divided from focusing on today. That is precisely why we experience tension when we are feeling anxious, for we feel torn apart and unable to give our complete attention to what God has set before us today. Charles Spurgeon said, “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”
Anxiety has a way of making us feel trapped when in fact we have been set free from worrying about tomorrow. Having been set free by the Spirit, we are enabled to obey Jesus’ command not to be anxious about tomorrow (Matt. 6:34). However, many Christians have been taught that Jesus was teaching us not to have any cares or concerns about the future or that taking wise precautions or preparing for the future means that we are somehow not trusting God. Yet Scripture is filled with wisdom for how we are to think about and plan for the future. And so, as we pray to our Father for our daily bread, just as Israel had to daily depend on manna from above, we trust God while we work diligently in our planning and preparation for the future.