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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Be Not Anxious


One thing about us homeschoolers is we are easy targets for anxious thoughts. What is making you anxious? What is the most worrisome thing you face as a homeschooler? 


I’ve heard various answers to these questions from many homeschoolers around the country. Like others, perhaps you have a child that struggles to get his work done. Are you fearful that you’re not covering everything, not doing enough? Perhaps you’re dealing with personality and behavior issues in the home. Maybe you’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy as an educator, a mom, a wife, a person.

Whatever it is, I can promise you God does not want you to be anxious at all about these things. Not only that, He has great instructions for how to overcome the anxiety you face.

First, present everything to God.

We are told, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 

How often are you bringing the issue before God? I know sometimes I worry and mull over my problems for days, sometimes weeks, dare I say months, before I finally realize I am not truly bringing this issue before God on a regular basis—or ever! 

As many times as I’ve seen God do miracles (big and small) through prayer, you would think I would be in a constant state of prayer over every little thing that pops up. But no, often I think a discouraging, negative thought. Then I let it begin to haunt me—telling me what a failure I am or what a mess I’m making. I eventually accept it as truth and find myself muddling through my days in a state of discouragement and despair, with anxiety my most familiar companion. Emotionally exhausted, I finally realize I’ve been walking on my own and not with God on this issue. Wow. I need to remember to take everything to Him. Every discouraging thought and belief, everything that stirs up anxiety. God has a remedy, but He awaits my request.

Second, present everything with thanksgiving.

I never want to speak on this verse without bringing attention to those enormously significant two words: with thanksgiving

God has a lot to say about thanksgiving, but let’s just sum it up like this: We experience the power of God in our lives when we choose to be thankful in ALL circumstances—and not just thankful for the good, happy thing in that circumstance, but thankful for the struggle itself. 

I never understood how this “thankful in all circumstances” concept worked until I realized years later that those horrid struggles (that at the time I thought were God’s punishment upon my life) were actually the things that grew me, humbled me, and gave me the greatest testimony and maturity as a Christian. They were far more important to my character development, my walk with God, and my ability to be full of peace and joy in all circumstances, than any happy, good thing that happened in my life. Those horrid struggles were gifts. So, yes, we are to be thankful for even the struggles we encounter.

I have rarely seen God deliver me from problems until I chose to be thankful in and for those very problems. He’s true to His Word. In fact, we enter God’s presence with this very tool—thanksgiving! “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, enter his courts with praise!” Psalm 100:4 

Let’s choose to give a sacrifice of praise for that thing with which we struggle. When we do, we will surely find God’s Word is true as, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

5 comments:

Kathy said...

Thank you, Jeannie. How good of God to cover this area in the Word, an area He knew we would deal with over and over again. I definitely have my areas of worry as a homeschooling mother, and find myself presented with the opportunity you've written about-the opportunity to present it to the Lord (the great handler of ALL handlers!) He truly can handle it and solve it and guide us through it all.

Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom said...

Our pastor just started a series on stress (he's focusing on Ps. 23) & yesterday's topic was worry. If I keep hearing about it, I'm gonna get convicted! Thanks for sharing these thoughts from you heart. I need continual reminders not to be anxious!

Kimberly said...

that "with thanksgiving" part is often overlooked. I'm glad you included it! What good reminders for us all.

we have been homeschooling 9 yrs. I've never really had home school related anxiety. I just have my claustrophobic anxieties and my occasional anxiety attack that I have no idea what is causing it. But they have both really mellowed out over the years.

Tammi said...

Jeannie..you don't know me...but I just "stumbled across" your blog. It was a Divine Appointment! God knows how my heart is feeling. I too am a homeschool mom. My husband told me a few weeks ago that I will have to go back to work...and send the kids to public school next year. This has caused a lot of anxious feelings...but the Lord is using this to teach me to trust Him even more. I will remember to be thankful, in everything. God loves our children more than we ever could, and He will provide a way somehow. Please pray for the Lord to guide my thoughts, as I commit this to Him. I've been able to stay with the kids for 12 years now. So the thought of having to find a job (in this economy) and send them to public school just weighs heavily on my heart. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. . I thank the Lord for allowing me to find your blog today.

momtime said...

Just what I needed as I'm spending hours on the computer trying to determine what curriculum God wants us to use next year. My husband has been unemployed for 10 months and the financial part of selecting the right curriculum is very challenging. I need to go now, because a sweet lady shared that I need to hand it over to my wonderful, all powerful, loving God!! Thanks Jeannie!!