Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.
Last year, a Gallup poll found large numbers of Americans in the grip of worry, and a simultaneous study by the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom warned that worry can have long-term chronic health consequences, including cardiovascular disease. No surprise there. But how do we reduce worry? The researchers recommended more sleep, periods of deep breathing, walks in the forest, chocolate, and smelling grapefruits. A study at James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found that the pleasant-smelling essential oils of grapefruit tended to reduce tension and boost the body’s energy.
Those ideas may have merit, but the true answer to anxiety is spiritual. We must learn to meditate on God’s goodness. Ponder His power. Drill into His promises. And then focus our minds on Him. Isaiah reminds us, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You” (Isaiah 26:3).
Take some time today to stop and think about God’s many blessings in the midst of stress and pressure. Grapefruits are good; but great promises are better.
Finding the unaccountable apprehensions…which had been upon me several days, I cried earnestly [to the Lord] for help; and it pleased God as in a moment to restore peace to my soul.
John Wesley, in his journal, December 28, 1737
2 Chronicles 29–31