I received this from a friend, Pastor Andy! I love the message and, in the interest of alleviating anxiety, included a humorous video below!
Did I tell you about my new dog? She is trained as a support dog. She is really smart and obeys commands, but being an emotional support dog, I think she is the one who needs emotional support. She gets pretty excited when we have to leave, and after returning, she is so happy, she bounces around all over the floor. I need to make her lay down and calmly stroke her. Yep! I think she is the one who needs the support. But she got me thinking about those who need an emotional support dog. The need is rising and more and more people are turning to pets to get their emotional support. But for those with anxiety, I’d like to share with you what Jesus said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds? Can any of you add a cubit to his height by worrying? If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?” Luke 12: 22-26 Jesus tells us NOT to worry, but it seems for some, to pass right by them, for they worry all the time, over little things, such as daily activities, or their things. Now telling a worrier NOT to worry is like spitting in the wind, it doesn’t work. But if it doesn’t, why would Jesus say, to stop worrying? It’s because worry is something that can be controlled by choice. I worry because I choose to worry. Things that I worry about are things that are more important to me than not worrying. Yet, I would like to offer a little solution. Hopefully, this will help those who constantly worry. If worry is a choice, and I choose worrying, what would make me stop. I would need to fill my thoughts with something other than worry. For worry to bother you, you have to be filled with anxiety over something that seems important to you that you are struggling with control over. Let it go! Fill your thoughts with the One who will take your anxiety away from you. And you won’t need a support dog. Support dogs sense when their masters are going into an anxiety attack and they will lick the face, or in the case of my dog, nibble on the ear. Something to take the mind off the things we worry about and place it on the dog. Why not place it in Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith? Why not place all our cares and burdens on Him for He is the burden taker, and the peacemaker. He will set your heart free from the curse of worry. But we have to make the choice of filling ourselves with Him instead of worry. Jesus would go on to tell the disciples: ” But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights in giving you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 12:31-34 We worry because of things; we worry because of circumstances; we worry because we want something we don’t have, but we want it for the wrong reasons. Let’s put our focus on what is truly important, that is Christ in us, and seek the true treasure that awaits us, eternity. Much better than a support dog.