Anxiety. It can mean everything from a fleeting sense of worry to a serious illness that affects more than 40 million adults in the U.S.
For those among us who suffer from anxiety disorder, the right prescription just might restore our bodies to a healthy chemical balance. For others of us, the right word at the right time could be enough to lift our burdens and brighten our spirits.
Whatever anxiety means to you, this week’s verse offers good medicine.
Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25
The cares of life can quickly rob our joy and drain us of hope. A feeling of “heaviness” (ASV) can settle into our soul, whether from “grief” (DRA) and “sorrow” (YLT) at a recent loss, or an overwhelming sense of “worry” (EXB) about what might happen next.
The Hebrew word, deagah, includes “fear” among its meanings. When we let our imaginations wander down What-If Boulevard, when we visit Worst-Case-Scenario Town one too many times, fear of the future can become an unbearable burden.
…weighs down the heart,…
Imagine an unseen emotion pressing down on us until we “stoop” (ASV) and are brought “low” (DRA). Like “a heavy load” (NCV) that “drags us down” (VOICE), anxiety not only affects us on the inside; it can also change us on the outside. Our shoulders droop, our eyes are downcast, and people start asking, “Are you okay?”
This is the hardest part. Admitting something’s wrong. Confessing, “No, I’m not okay,” first to ourselves, then to someone we trust.
The good news? God already knows about your heart condition. He is even now sending help. One of his children is bringing just what you need.
…but a kind word…
It’s amazing what “an encouraging word” (AMP) can do. Six weeks ago I shared with a friend my desperate desire to make a change in my life. With each halting step forward, I texted her an update, and she texted back “a good word” (CEB).
“I am so very, very proud of you.”
“You’ve made my day!!!”
“I am believing God, my friend.”
“Your best days are ahead of you.”
If you need to hear those words, beloved, take them. They are meant for you too.
So are these: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Never. Leave. You. Nor. Forsake. You.
Six really good words.
…cheers it up.
The end result of a kind word from a friend? Or (even better) from God’s Word? Our eyes brighten. Our hearts lighten. Our burdens lift.
Thank you, Lord. For my friend, Chris. For all our friends who know what we need most.
A good word makes us “glad” (ASV). It brings us “joy” (NET) and “lightens our day” (VOICE). The fact is, “a word of encouragement does wonders!” (TLB).
Need something that “makes you happy” (ERV) right now? Four minutes with Pharrell Williams should do it. Three hundred million people have watched this video, including your Lizzie. Cheers me up every time, especially when the choir joins in.
Not your style? Then turn to the One you know will help you most and pray as David did: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12).
May your joy be restored, beloved, and your strength renewed!
Now it’s your turn
- If you’re not okay right now, could you tell someone you trust?
- If someone around you isn’t okay, what kind word could you offer them today?
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Sending you a hug this day, praying that something here has lifted your heart. Need more encouragement? Holley Gerth shares her passion for uplifting words on (in)courage. Beautiful.
Your sister, Liz