Exploring the Wheels of Health* (continued)
The second wheel in our series on health is the emotional wheel. God created us as a three part being: body, soul and spirit. Our soul is composed of our mind (thoughts), our emotions (feelings), and our will (choices). Living in a sinful world with a sinful nature, we all struggle to keep our mind, emotions and will conformed to the image of Christ. As women, I think worry can be a real area of struggle and that is the first spoke we want to address on the emotional wheel. Marcia Newkirk, a nurse and pastor’s wife, shares insight into this issue.
Is anxiety about tomorrow robbing you of peace today? Anxiety is defined as uneasiness of mind from care or apprehension. It is often referred to as worry. Anxiety itself can sometimes lead to hunger, nausea, confusion, insomnia, depression, hypertension, and so much more. Many factors contribute to anxiety such as hormones, stress, diet, medication, heredity, and environment. Anxiety looks to the future and takes the focus and joy away from today. Living with anxiety is like rocking in a rocking chair, you can move a lot but not go anywhere.
The opposite of anxiety is peace. Peace is a state of tranquility, quiet, stillness, and harmony.True peace comes only from God. Peace doesn’t change our circumstances but instead gives us strength, grace, and perseverance to live in the circumstance and out the other side. The Bible addresses peace in 345 verses, so it must be an important element in life. Jesus says in John 14:27(NLT) I am leaving you with a gift peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
Why is peace often so elusive? It may be that we’ve never been taught how to appropriate the faith and peace that God has for us. What can we do to encourage peace and lessen anxiety? First and foremost, consider your relationship with the Lord. Have you ever come to the place in life where you asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord? May I suggest that before we explore peace in this lifetime, we must first look to the great Peacemaker. Matthew 11:28-30(NLT) says, Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. Recognize that peace is a gift.
Before we can experience true peace, our lives must be in a relationship with God. We were created by Him for Him. Years ago in the Garden of Eden, man rebelled against God. Ever since then, man has been born with this sinful nature. God created us for intimacy with Him and He had a plan to bridge the huge gap that exists between man and God. Jesus said in Scripture, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me(John 14:6). All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If you confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). If you cannot recall a time when you bowed before God and declared that He was Messiah, Lord, and Savior, take the time to do this today. Tell someone! Write the leaders of this website. Tell your pastor, teacher, friend.
Let’s get back to peace and anxiety.
After you have considered your walk with God, take the time to pray and ask Him to calm your anxious heart. Talk to Him about each and every small and large issue in your life. He knows and He cares. This prayer is not a prayer you pray once and it is over. This talk is repeated over and over until you hear an answer and the need is met. God says we should come to Him as a child, which means at times we ask for things again and again. Do not consider yourself weak or sinful if anxiety creeps back in. Instead, pray and ask God to bring His peace into your life. The Bible says in, Philippians 4:6(NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Surround yourself with friends that encourage and share the ups and downs of life with you. No person is an island; we all need friends to share life with, to bear each others burdens and to build each other up in the Lord. Do you have at least one friend like that? Are you that kind of friend to someone?
Speak truth to yourself, yes, talk to yourself. Ask yourself what you are thinking, dwelling on so much? Write down what concerns you. Don’t do the what ifs. What if I disappoint my mother, what if I develop cancer, what if I lose my job, what if my husband leaves me, what if? What if looks to the future and worries of what might happen. We must take one day at a time. Sometimes we must take one hour at a time.
Be careful what movies and TV programs you fill your mind with. In times of national or local crisis limit how many hours a day you will watch the news. If hearing about either real or fictional emergencies stirs up anxiety, limit how much you let those things in. Choose to trust God when you don’t know the outcome of circumstances and events.
Remember that God is Sovereign; He is the Blessed Controller of all things. Isaiah 26:3-4(NLT) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Many people have a harder time living a life of peace than others. If you often face anxiety and worry consider seeking professional counseling. Humble yourself and acknowledge that you need help outside yourself. Ask your pastor, teacher, or counselor for help with coping with anxiety and worry. There is hope, there is help. You do not have to live a life of anxiety. Peace is possible. Marcia
(Marcia Newkirk has been blessed to be married to her best friend (Pastor Dennis Newkirk) for the past 41 years. They have 3 grown sons each with a precious wife, and 4 perfect grandchildren! She loves to study God’s Word, read, work in the garden, walk/run, and loves sharing her time with her church family. She enjoys hospital visits, homebound visits, and any encouragement she can give to others. She is an R.N. who seeks to use her gifts and passion to encourage and bless her church family. Marcia teaches the Personal Spiritual Growth Skill Session in the updated Keepers DVD set.)
To read other articles in this series look in the Spiritual Growth and Health/ Fitness categories.
*I would like to thank and give credit to the Ministries of Jesus (MOJ) Clinic, a ministry of Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, OK, for the Wheels of Health idea and illustration, which is based on the bookGod’s Design for the Highly Healthy Person by Walt Larimore, M.D. (www.DrWalt.com ).
For more study on the topic of Peace vs. Anxiety we recommend reviewing:
Week Two, Day 3 of the Called to be a Keeper Bible study by Lori Merrill
Other resources that we recommend are:
God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Person by Walt Larimore, M.D. (www.DrWalt.com )
Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow
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