The Answer to Your Anxiety
The Answer to Your Anxiety
According to a poll by the American Psychiatric Association, 40% of Americans are more anxious now than they were a year ago. Nearly 20% of Americans struggle with ongoing anxiety.
What’s driving this anxiety? For many of these folks, it’s worries about the future. As Solomon said, “No one knows what will happen to him” (Ecclesiastes 8:7). We have no idea what the future holds. And for many of us, that’s absolutely terrifying.
You don’t know if you’ll have enough money to pay all your bills. You don’t know if you’ll get the job you really need, or the house you were really hoping for. You don’t know if you’ll be able to have kids. If you have kids, you don’t know if they’ll love Jesus, or succeed in life. You don’t know if you’ll have enough savings to make it through retirement. You don’t know if you’ll die before you even get to enjoy retirement.
That’s what Solomon, writing near the end of his life, is clearly thinking about: “No one has authority over the wind to restrain it, and there is no authority over the day of death.” (8:8). You can eat hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, spinach salad for lunch, and boiled fish with bok choy for dinner. You can work out two hours a day. You can take vitamin supplements and essential oils.
Guess what? You’re still not going to live a single day longer than God decides. As it says in Hebrews 9, “It is appointed for people to die once, and after this, judgment.” You’ve got an appointment with death. It might not be written on your calendar, but it’s on God’s calendar. And it’s not in pencil, it’s in ink.
There’s no changing the time or the date of your appointment. It’s coming. Solomon presses the point by talking about some people whose appointments might be coming the sooner rather than later: soldiers on the battlefield. He says, “No one is discharged during battle” (8:8). When you’re in the middle of a firefight, you don’t get to call a time-out. You don’t get to say, “Hey, my ankle kinda hurts. I don’t know, I think I might have rolled it … could we just pause for a few minutes until I’m ready?” No way!
You put your head down, and you fight, no matter what. You do what you were trained to do. And you know that even if you do it all textbook, you still might not come home.
And there’s an amazing degree of freedom in that kind of attitude. I’ve talked to many military, law-enforcement, and firefighters, and they all are much more at peace about their own death than any of the rest of us.
You don’t know when your ticket’s going to get punched, so you just put your head down, trust God, and do what he’s called you to do. Let him worry about what happens to you.
That’s the answer to so much of our anxiety. Anxious about what people think about you? Just put your head down, do what God’s called you to do, and let him worry about your reputation. Anxious that you’re not getting what you deserve in life? Just put your head down, do what God’s called you to do, and let him worry about your reward.
God is sovereign over your life, death, and future. Rest in that.