Worry not, empty shelves and ice will pass

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, January 24, 2024

By Les Ferguson Jr.

Looking back over my life, I realize I’ve wasted valuable time by being a worrier driven by fear and anxiety. Trust me, it’s not a fun way to live.

While I’ll leave open the possibility that something or someone will give me pause for fear or concern in the future, I’m hopeful to have progressed to the point where potential fears, worries, and anxieties will no longer be in control. I’ve learned that just because I can worry doesn’t mean I have to. 

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This is not to say I’ll never again experience anxiety, but through faith and trust in God, through coping skills like prayer and reading scripture, anxiety does not have to rule the day.

As I write this on Sunday, we’ve learned that school is out again on Monday. That’s an entire week of pent-up cabin fever, enough to cause anxiety and frustration to rear its ugly head for most of us.

But soon, this “hardship” will be a thing of the past—as well as empty grocery store shelves and iced-up roads.

Soon, we will return to “normal,” whatever that might look like. Perspective is indeed everything!

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, there is a section (Matthew 6) where he addresses our predisposition to fears, worries, and anxieties.

What I hear from him is simple and powerful: God is near, and He is enough. But then again, you wouldn’t know it from our behavior and reactions–the way we fret and worry, wring our hands, complain, and hurry back and forth, trying to fix a problem or maintain some semblance of control.

For me, Jesus’ words are a comfort, a reminder that God is so much greater than all our worries and fears.

But more than that, I take what Jesus says to mean God truly desires us to live life without all the confusion of worry, fear, and anxiety.

As an added caveat, I leave you this week with the words of the Apostle Paul which are an exclamation point on top of what Jesus himself said:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:4-7)

Blessings and peace to all.