On the Side: October 2023
Anxious for Nothing
by Shelly Wyrick
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, NKJV).
We have a place at the lake and spend as much time there as our busy schedules allow. My favorite part is the long dock that stretches way out on the water. Over the last few years, that dock has kept a thousand good memories. We’ve run along its hot planks in the blazing sun to jump in and tiptoed through its snow to take a polar plunge in winter. We’ve watched sunset after sunset in awe of how one has not copied another. We’ve seen meteors fall, fireworks fly and waves crash, drenching our blankets.
Reminiscing fills me with joy.
You already know that joyful reminiscing (rejoicing) has benefits. Curiously, the most famous verse on anxiety is sandwiched between instructions on rejoicing. We start with Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (NKJV). Then we find in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing…” before getting back to the act of rejoicing described in Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure…think about these things” (NASB). The rejoicing buffers the anxiety. And what does rejoicing do to anxiety? Rejoicing reminds us God is able.
Fall can be a reflective time for the physician’s spouse. Some have just moved and are trying to land on their feet. Others have just started a new job and are supporting their husband in the same leap. And many are in the full-fledged routine of having kids or grandkids head back to school. The pace of the fall may give us a moment to assess our situation, hopefully over a pumpkin latte. The decisions of summer have played out, and the holidays rest on the horizon. In between, let’s pause to assess our current anxiety and sandwich it in gratitude and rejoicing.
I want to remind you that God is able. Whether you’ve been following Him for a few minutes or decades, you have stories. Polish them off.
I remember when God orchestrated my education with my husband’s medical school to be in the same town so neither of us had to modify our goals. I remember His great and tender love leading me out of the depression that reared during the transition and the healing that has stuck for decades. I remember the trust that grew from match day, the faith He provided with my decision to stay home with our firstborn and His provision financially in the fellowship years when we learned, indeed, God is a provider.
This list goes on. God is able. He has provided before and will not fail me now or ever. Like the lake dock memories, I’d be wise to pause and reflect on His extraordinary gifts, sandwiching them around my anxiety.
Help us to recount the ways you have lovingly seen us through. Thank you for being steadfast and trustworthy. I believe you are able.
Shelly Wyrick is wife to her manly medical man and mom to four kids. She has been a physical therapist before becoming a stay-at-home mom and now loves being an artist and freelance writer. You can learn more about her on her website at http://www.merge52.com/.