In today’s readings, Isaiah (52:13-53:12) describes the coming persecution of Jesus. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews (4:14-16; 5:7-9) stresses the salvation that comes from obedience to Christ, and John (18:1-19:42) gives us the traditional narrative of Christ’s Passion on Good Friday. The messages in the readings confirm God’s love for us.
As I reflect on these readings, I cannot help but think about all the gifts that God has given us, gives us, and will continue to give us. He finds us each and every moment of each day, despite our not finding Him. If all this is the case, why do we have any worries? With the Passion of Good Friday and the hope of the Easter Resurrection, why are the every day challenges of life so anxiety-producing? Why is it so easy to forget that God is continually at our side?
My father, an authority on anxiety and tension, used to talk about the blessing and the curse of being able to anticipate the future. Maybe we are not really able to anticipate the future, but we can certainly imagine the worst scenarios and then worry. Why do we tend to dwell on the worst outcome, rather than trusting God and anticipating the most positive outcome?
I have to admit to being very cool and calm on the outside, but on the inside, I am a worrier. I tend to take most challenges as routine and work to minimize emotion by carefully controlling what I tell myself about a situation. However, that approach does not always work, and in the face of my worrying, I become frustrated at the fact that I am not trusting that God will take care of me, the loved one, or the situation about whom/which I am worried.
As Easter approaches, I am working on controlling what I tell myself
about a situation. In addition to my apologies to God for not trusting,
I am also listening to what I say about a situation. I now say,
“God, you have taken such good care of me and my loved ones
in the past; I am trusting that you will continue such good works
as you have previously performed. You work so very hard to convince
me that all will be well, and I will believe that you are with me
and my loved ones.” It is working well. I was challenged by
the logistics of travel, worrying that I would be late for my flight.
I began to recite the above quote, and I was able to relax and became
much less anxious.
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