At a School of the Spirit contemplative retreat there were five Bible passages to choose from for the devotional reading. One of them was the passage in the gospel of Matthew about anxiety. Almost everyone in the group chose that passage. Anxiety is something we know about.

Writing these devotionals keeps me plunging into anxiety. What if I can’t think of anything to write? What if no one finds these useful? What if I don’t have time to write because I took on too many other good things to do? I imagine disaster surely looms and paralysis is not far away.

Once anxiety gets started, it seems to rush with the air I breathe into the cells of my body, making a home there and growing like activated yeast. Rather than trying to get rid of anxiety, it is finding a way to change the air that helps. As the song says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Sing allelu, alleluia.”


How do you experience anxiety?

What does your faith have to say to your anxiety?

What brings you back to a rooted and grounded place?


Sometimes when I am anxious I want a hug from a safe person “to put my skin back on.” Slow, deep breathing, or repeating a sacred word may help. Holding the anxiety in the Light, looking for what underlies it, can give a freeing perspective. Letting the anxiety go may happen if you find words that put you in the arms of God.

For further reflection:

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry . . . .” (See Psalm 40: 1-3).

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life . . . ” (See Matthew 6: 25-34)


2 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. Perfect for me with my present adventure! I am fortunate in that I rarely feel terribly anxious. When I do, my approach to do what I can to get a good outcome, then to send the rest out to God and the Universe. I know there is so much out of my control!

    When facing huge events, I find that sharing that information with people I love is very important. I also shared with my close friends who live far, and with my faith community, which has its epicenter at Hanover Friends Meeting, but expands far beyond there to New England Yearly Meeting, and School of the Spirit, and FGC. They take over the prayers, which then lift me and carry me through the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.”

    We are all connected, through our human nature, our genetic heritage, and the universal Holy Spirit. Our relationships and our love for each other are physical manifestations of God’s love for all of us.

    Thank you, Patty!


    • Anxiety is a frequent visitor. I know it doesn’t do me any good to tell myself that there is nothing to be anxious about, that none of the things I worry about will happen. I know better. What I try to do is remind myself that God is always at work with whatever situation is at hand and I can trust in that.
      Carole Treadway


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