19 October 2016

Tranquility in vivo


So much of life is turbulent. We get disturbed when we read the newspaper and see the suffering of Syrians in Aleppo. There are gunshots spraying over university campuses or in shopping centres. Worries arise in respect to the falling British pound and the dissatisfaction with the American electoral process. Life seems difficult and without calm.

Dr Bruce Wells wrote in this article in June this year about depression and worrying. He says, "Worrying excessively can lead to a host of physical and mental problems such as hypochondria, muscle tension, chronic indigestion, poor sleep, irrational fears, panic, self-consciousness, stage fright, compulsive behaviours, and perfectionism. You may think that worrying will help you avoid bad things from happening, lessen the impact of bad things, or help you come up with solutions. But worrying is actually the problem, not the solution."

So Dr Wells gives six solutions which might help.
1) SET ASIDE A WORRY PERIOD
Rather than be held hostage to disruptive worrying thoughts throughout the day give yourself permission to postpone worrying until later.

2. DETERMINE IF THE WORRY IS SOLVABLE
A solvable worry is one that you can take action on right away.

3. IF THE WORRY IS SOLVABLE, WORK ON A SOLUTION
Once you determine that a worry is solvable, brainstorm as many possible solutions you can think of.

4. IF THE WORRY IS UNSOLVABLE, MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS
Sometimes you can’t solve a problem because either it’s not your problem (you are worried about your daughter’s failing marriage), it’s uncontrollable (you are worried whether it will rain during the picnic), or it can’t be resolved right away (you are worried about your factory closing in two years’ time). When this happens focus on managing your own emotions.

5. EMBRACE UNCERTAINTY TO REDUCE WORRYING
The solution is to accept that uncertainty is a part of life and then choose to focus on the parts that you can control and put all of your energies into making the most of them and appreciating them.

and finally,
6. CHALLENGE WORRYING THOUGHTS
Chronic worriers tend to have two types of thoughts. First, they over-estimate the possibility that bad things will happen, and second, they underestimate their own ability at handling these things. These thoughts aren’t based on reality or fact and are totally irrational.
You can break these bad thinking habits and develop a more balanced and healthier perspective of your worries.

Yeshua said this to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?" (Luke 12.22-26)

Worry is a function of distress, and it makes much sense at times. But in the midst of it all, in our lives (in vivo), God can bring tranquility. I wish that for you. I wish that for everyone. Not because of some prescription drugs. Not because of a dismissal of the realities of life which can be daunting. But a tranquility based on the power of God to oversee, and to override, to prevent and to accomplish.

If Yeshua is really who He claimed to be; and if He so chooses to assist and to help, then what honestly do I have to worry about? He wants us to trust Him.

Hear these words from Isaiah the prophet who was trying to calm the Jewish people of his day, "Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, but He will save you.”(Chapter 35:4). And what about these words from the great Rabbi Saul of Tarsus: "Don't be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Phil. 4.6) And what does Saul say will be God's response? "The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Jesus." (4.7)

Know Yeshua. Know peace.
No Yeshua. No peace.


Photo credit: By author in Hunter Gardens. 2015. All photos from there are Hunter: here

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