I think it’s a pretty safe bet that we all know what “anxious” means, right? Yeah, I thought so.

But just the same, humor me while I google it…

adjective: anxious

experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. “she was extremely anxious about her exams”

wanting something very much, typically with a feeling of unease. “the company was anxious to avoid any trouble”

The Latin root of the word “anxious” is “angere” which means… to choke.

Wait, did that stop anybody else in their tracks?

When I get whipped up in worry about something, I feel like my heart is being choked.

I’ve heard that worry, fear, and anxiety are the opposite of faith. I think that’s true. When I’m feeling anxious, I’m basically saying that I’m not certain God can do what he says he’ll do; that he won’t take care of me, because he’s either too busy or not big enough.

Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m anxious about. Things are going well, but I’m just sort of jittery. Like I’m so busy juggling life that I don’t have time to think about what I’m actually worried about, but I know it’s something. The anxiety settles over everything like a heavy, constricting, sometimes choking presence.

Is there a solution? Or is this normal; how we were meant to live?

Today’s memory verse tells us 1. God did not intend for us to live in nervousness, and 2. How to escape the choking.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

This verse is so comforting to me because it basically says, I get that you’ve got a lot of stuff running through your head. Bring it to me. Let’s talk about it — all of it– so I can ease your mind.

And the way God eases our minds is by telling us to remember all the things he’s already done for us! That’s where the thanksgiving comes in!

We tell him what we’re worried about. (If you’re me, you also tell him what you want him to do about it.) And then we start making a laundry list of everything he’s already done for us.

When we do that day after day, we change. We become brave. We begin to focus on the eternal instead of the day-to-day.

And that constricting feeling that once threatened to take hold is choked out by a faith that says no matter what tomorrow brings, it’s okay, because I know God will be there.