Finding Peace in Anxious Times by Robert Walker

Finding Peace in Anxious Times
Robert Walker
Philippians 4:6-8

Introduction - A young boy was driving a hayrack down the road when the wagon fell over in front of a farmer’s house. The farmer came out, saw the young boy crying and said, "Son, don’t worry about this, we can fix it. Right now dinner’s ready.

Why don’t you come in and eat with us and then I’ll help you put the hay back on the rack."

The boy said, "No, I can’t. My father is going to be very angry with me." The farmer said, "Now don’t worry, just come in and have some lunch and you’ll feel better." The boy said, "I’m just afraid my father is going to be very angry with me."

The farmer and the young boy went inside and had dinner. Afterwards, as they walked outside to the hayrack, the farmer said, "Now, son, don’t you feel better after that great meal?"

The boy said, "Yes but I just know that my father will be very angry with me." The farmer said, "Nonsense. Where is your father anyway?" The boy said, "He’s under that wagon."

Norman Vincent Peale said, “The word ‘worry’ is derived from an Old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to strangle or to choke. How well –named the emotion- it has been demonstrated again and again in persons who have lost their effectiveness due to the stultifying effect of anxiety and apprehension

Illustration

A story is told about a man who came face to face with the dangers of worry:

Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, "What are you going to do?"

"I’m going to take 100 people," Death replied. "That’s horrible!" the man said.

"That’s the way it is," Death said. "That’s what I do."

The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan. As evening fell, he met Death again.

"You told me you were going to take 100 people," the man said. "Why did 1,000 die?"

"I kept my word," Death responded. "I only took 100 people. Worry took the others."

The Problem - Worry

The Greek word ( merimnao) translated worry literally means “to be drawn in different directions. ” Worry pulls us apart.

Illustration

In 1929, J.C. Penney’s business was highly unstable. And so he began to worry and became sleepless. He worried to the extreme and contracted shingles, which is the severest pain, known to man.

Into the hospital, Penney was given medicine to tranquilize him, but it was no help. He still worried about his business.

One night, he felt that he would die before morning, as he was lying on the bed, he heard singing from the hospital chapel next door: ‘No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you…”

Suddenly he leaned up, thinking: ‘it is real! God loves and cares for me.’ In no time he had jumped out of his bed and entered the chapel.

And then a miracle took place in his soul, as if he were a little bird suddenly freed to fly out of the dungeon into the sunlight, from hell to paradise. I felt as if I had been instantly lifted out of the darkness of a dungeon into warm brillian ...


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