Max Lucado’s recent book Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World offers a biblical starting point for understanding and handling anxiety. Though he doesn’t delve into the science or psychology angle much, he does provide scriptural evidence for how we can handle it, and most importantly recognizes that it exists.
At times I found the book too simple, but it does at least acknowledge that anxiety does not have a simple solution. Lucado describes, “This business of anxiety management is like pulling stumps out of the ground. Some of your worries have deep root systems. Extracting them is hard work. In fact, it may be the toughest challenge of all. But you don’t have to do it alone” (76). Most of the book seems to better apply to worry, a much more common affliction and one with a simpler solution. Yet this reminds readers that anxiety goes deeper and involves hard work to conquer old roots and then develop new ones. Lucado also reminds us that we need not face worry or anxiety alone.
With a loving community providing extra support, it makes it possible to conquer anxiety. As we navigate the roots on this journey, we can learn how to communicate specifics about our concerns as we pray, whether related to anxiety, worry or any other topic. When we can acknowledge our request or difficulty, we can start to put an accurate description on it. Then we can seek help from God as we voice it as well as communicate our needs to others. In turn, we can all support each other in the details of our everyday lives as we pursue the bigger picture of our purpose. Peace can replace this anxiety as we acknowledge concerns, voice specific requests and focus on the truth.
I recommend this book as a starting point for acknowledging worry and anxiety and starting to confront those thoughts. Anyone can benefit from double checking what occupies their mind. We can all use a little more peace, and we all have access to it and the ability to adjust and develop our roots.