A Meditation on Why Jesus Says You’re Anxious

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Our body’s tension and tightness and clenched muscles are signs that too many things are occupying our place of trust. Our body will always manifest our incongruity when we seek security in things that cannot give security.

Steve Cuss (Managing Leadership Anxiety)

“Anxiety is a signal, not a root cause. Anxiety is generated when we think we need something in any particular moment that we don’t actually need. Anxiety is not just worry and fear. It’s how you react when you don’t get something you think you need.”

“The point is that anxiety becomes a marker that something other than God’s presence and love is at play in my mind and body.”

Compare that to what David wrote 3,000 years ago…

Psalms 27:4 NIV

Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)

This passage always kind of frustrated me because somebody still had to cook and do the dishes. I’d want to just sit and listen too. But I don’t think Jesus’s point is just be a hippie and don’t worry about the work. The key is in the words he uses, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” I think when God walks into your home and he says something like this too you, he’s talking about a lot more than just the dishes. He’s talking about Martha’s life — anxious and troubled about MANY things, but one thing is necessary, which will not be taken away from her.

I think Jesus is alluding to what David wrote 1,000 earlier in Psalm 27. 

This is the ONE THING that you cannot lose if you have it. But if you don’t have this one thing, you will lose everything in the end. But if the LORD is your ONE THING, you end up with everything in the end.

So take a deep abdominal breath in …and when you let it out focus your mind on imagining the ONE THING you need most and that’s dwelling with the LORD in his house and his beauty forever. And let that ONE THING replace the distractions and anxieties and feelings of trouble in your body, and instead feel your body fall into the secure rest and relaxed calm of knowing that you only really NEED ONE THING. 

Psalm 16:8-9 NIV

Martha’s life was distracted, anxious, and troubled about too many things because she was forgetting the ONE THING that was necessary. 

So when anxiety strikes (elevated heart rate, muscle tension, mental distraction, anger fantasies), ask yourself:

1) What do I feel I need that’s being threatened right now?

2) Why do I feel that I need it?

3) Do I really need it?

Maybe my problem was Martha’s problem. And Jesus’s words to her are his words to me that I need to hear: “You are distracted, anxious, and troubled about too many things because you’re forgetting the ONE THING that is absolutely most necessary.”

And this is an issue of the heart. What do you want most? What do you really need most?

Maybe your desires are being hijacked by too many things that are trying to replace the ONE THING.

So right now, you can trust God‘s presence and love and care for you that is far greater than your plan for yourself and your “wants” that have disguised themselves as “needs” that drive your troubled heart — your anxieties and fears and insecurities and anger and anger fantasies and stress.

Right now, you’re choosing to seek the one thing you can trust that’s forever.

Say aloud to yourself…

“God is 100% present. He is IN this moment with me. And I can trust him.”

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Our audio engineer is Diego Huaman.

This podcast is a ministry of The Crossing, a church in Columbia, Missouri, a college town where the flagship campus of the University of Missouri is located.