Anxiety can be like a background noise in our lives, eroding our sense of peace.

At times it can rise up like a wave that threatens to overwhelm us.

Cracked wall

Jesus said that no matter what our circumstances, no matter what we have done, or how we feel, God underpins our lives with a constant loving acceptance that can set us free.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me besides still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.

Take time out

Take five minutes to listen to this immersive Bible meditation, where Jesus calms a storm.

We may not feel it, but even in the unimaginably dark places, God is with us.

Longer mediations of this theme are available on taketime.org.uk

A reflection on feeling anxious

"The faith that the New Testament calls for is an act of trust. Trust that you are welcomed, that you are valued; trust that the power that made and loves and sustains the world is working for your good. And that sounds like such obvious good news, why would anybody not believe it – and yet, of course, we find it very hard because we quite like the process of justifying ourselves, rather than somebody else doing it for us.

"But that trust, that deep trust, tells me, tells us you do not have to secure your position at the expense of anybody else. You don’t have to persuade a distant and hostile God to be nice to you. You don’t have to pretend. There is something that holds, affirms, and of course transforms you. So if you absorb that into your mind and heart, a lot of what’s going on is that you’re free from anxiety. Do I have to keep God happy? No. Do I have to succeed in the world’s terms? No. Do I have to make absolutely sure that nobody else ever does better than I do? No. And something begins to blossom in the middle of all that, some kind of liberty from the myriad kinds of anxiety that drive us and cramp us and paralyse us sometimes in our lives."

Rowan Williams taken from https://www.publicchristianity.org/on-not-having-to-pretend/