27th of February 2017

“The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures and they do not mature” Luke 8:14

 

I was interested to hear the other day about a condition called ‘illness anxiety disorder’.   This is the new name for a condition previously known as hypochondria. As you might expect, I was bit skeptical about      the change but on reflection it sounds correct.

The doctor being interviewed explained that, in many ways, illness anxiety is a spectrum.   She said we all worry about getting sick at some point in time the problem is when that worry becomes excessive and/or debilitating. ‘Good on you’ I told the radio. Finally someone was admitting, what the Bible tells us, that life is anxious, that there are things to worry about and that this is a worrying world.

Frequently the world in which we live seems to want to deny the existence of anxiety. This I think is a false trail. Jesus himself says that each day has worries of its own. The question is what are we going to do about it.

In Luke 8, Jesus tells the parable of the sower. You know the story, a farmer sows seeds all over the place. Some seed sprouts and produces fruit, an awful lot doesn’t. His point is that we need to be people who hear his word and retain it. I do wonder whether the lack of hearing God’s word weekly is part of the problem for anxiety. Now I am not saying that it solves everything and particularly not so when anxiety becomes a problem. But it seems to me that the world has always been anxious but what has changed is our deafness to God.

Maybe if we took Jesus at his word, trusted in an all powerful and loving God, knew that we were reconciled to him by Christ and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit we just might worry less.

Stuart