By Ron Cobb,
pastor at Horton First Christian Church
The DSM V diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder is, “The presence of excessive anxiety or worry about a variety of events or activities for at least six months.” Anxiety is an overwhelming uneasiness, full of emotional turmoil.
Explaining the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the author of Hebrews 2:15 in the Message Bible says this anxiety can literally scare us to death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.
Cowering through life, living hunched over and worried, is an accurate description of anxiety…”scared to death of death.” Most of us do not experience a full-blown anxiety disorder but, if you ever read the newspapers or listen to the television news, you can’t help but feel a bit anxious from time to time in our volatile 21st century.
Hebrews 2:16-18 talks about the anxiety and inward pain we all have. Jesus didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.
In the Aramaic language that Jesus spoke, the Passion translation of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 explains the way to freedom from anxiety. “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, and easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”
Men and women were created for this type of unconditional acceptance and inner healing from anxiety. Jesus will help us learn as he guides us with his gentle manner and the humble flow of his leadership. Through Jesus, you and I can be free from the anxiety of this digital, high-speed, quantum physics world and gain the energizing peace that God so intensely wants to freely give to each of us.