Anxiety drains the life from your soul. It’s spiritual death by blood loss: a slow, steady drain on your vitality and passion and joy. It ends with helplessness and hopelessness. How do we fight it? How do we stop the bleeding so that our souls don’t shrivel and shrink under anxiety’s constant squeeze?
While God has given us numerous remedies for the malady of worry, there’s one we often might forget: the created world. All around us, every day of our lives, there is overflowing evidence that God rules his world and rules it well. Creation quietly and constantly reveals the power and wisdom of God. Consider the seasons: The colors of fall are an art display on a grander scale that uses a more glorious palette than any human art exhibit – and God pulls it off year after year without a single hitch.
There are birds by the hundreds flying over our heads or in our backyards (and stealing our leftover French fries at McDonald’s). Have you ever stopped to consider that not one of them will die without God’s knowledge (Matt. 10:29)? Or watch a hawk in flight and think of God’s pointed question to Job in Job 39:26: “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south?” Job’s answer: silence. God’s answer: “Yes, it is by MY understanding that the hawk soars!”
Or ponder an oak tree growing in the middle of a field. To reach mature size that oak has had to grow from a tiny acorn, pushing a taproot down into the soil and sending a single flimsy stalk and pair of leaves up towards the light. It has had to survive marauding deer, rabbits, and birds, to escape being trampled underfoot, and to absorb enough water and minerals from its tiny patch of soil to keep from starving to death. It takes at least twenty years to grow past sapling size; mature, shade-tree size oak won’t be reached into the 50-100 year mark. And there are millions of trees in God’s world, quietly proclaiming the power and wisdom of their Maker with every cell in every leaf and branch and root.
Here is good medicine for your soul. The next time you’re outside, particularly if cares are weighing you down, look around you at God’s creation. Thank him that the tree or bird or insect that you see was created by him, and is now being sustained and held together by his mighty hand. Praise him for the wisdom on display in creation, the theatre to his glory. And then recognize this: the same God who made the grandeurs of the universe is watching over your life with the same infinite care.