It’s pretty difficult to live in this world and not experience angst. And if the word “angst” doesn’t seem to describe your experience, words like “stress,” “worry,” or “frustration” probably do.
Life can be hard sometimes. Things happen that are out of our control.
It can be the little things that set us off. You got cut off in traffic. The grocery store ran out of your favorite coffee creamer. You forgot to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer.
But life can hold big hard things too. More of them than we’d like to ever experience.
A scary diagnosis. An unexpected loss. Sudden financial trouble. A child making choices that make you nervous for their future. An intersection in your career, and you don’t know where to go.
Both the big and the little things stir up angst, worry, or overwhelm in our minds and bodies. And when those emotions begin to pile up, it’s temptingly easy to hold onto bitterness, anxiety, and depression.
The Answer to Life's Difficulties
What’s the antidote?
Listen to the Voice of Truth who said to cast all our burdens upon Him for His yoke is easy and burden is light.
Here’s where we have a decision to make:
We either keep ruminating and remain fearful and agitated OR surrender our worries and what we can’t control into God’s capable hands.
It seems easy enough to read the above sentence and believe it, but it’s a whole other thing to put it into practice.
How can we put surrendering our thoughts into practice?
When I’m in moments that stir up angst or worry, I turn to prayer.
Prayer re-centers my focus back on God, no matter what the prayer is.
Even if my prayers themselves are full of angst, they still point me back to the Lord.
Praying gives me the space to be honest about my emotions with the God who holds it and knows it all. The more I talk to Him, the more it reminds me of how good God is. It reminds me that God is listening to me and loves me. It reminds me that Jesus died and rose from the dead so that I could pray honestly whenever I choose.
Praying helps us to remember who God is and who we are in Him.
In moments of angst, I need to be reminded who God is: the Creator of the universe, Giver of love and life, the One who died for me. When I remember how good and big God is, my heart is ready to surrender whatever is making me angsty or anxious over to His capable hands.
Prayer re-activates my faith in God.
A Short Prayer for Strength
I hope this prayer gives you the space to remember who God is and to let go of what’s weighing on you now.
“God you are in control. You are good. You have the big picture where I see only a small piece. I find this situation scary and overwhelming. Hold me close and help me to do what you are pointing me to in this moment. You have not called me to worry because it makes me sick. You say when I am weak You are strong. I am taking hold of Your strength. So I choose to follow Your ways and give thanks for the gifts in the present moment. I choose to love myself well and those around me. I release fear of the future and take comfort believing You will be faithful to take care of me then, too. I choose to trust You and leave all my angst about this situation with you and move forward with my day. Please lead and help me boldly take my next step. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Put your hand over your heart. Take slow deep breaths. Remain focused on the moment you are in. Give thanks for what is good right now. Create a day filled with intentional moments of joy. In so doing, you will find strength to meet each challenge.
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