Stuck, Unstuck

The angel reassured them, “Don’t be afraid! I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem”

Luke 2: 10, 11

 

The only cure for anxiety is work.

            A father, while visiting his adult son, noticed a sticky note attached to his child’s computer. The note stated, “The only cure for anxiety is work.” The Dad reflected upon that statement and then wondered to himself, “How did my son get so wise?” With seven words this young man handed his father a way to get unstuck from the vise-grip of anxious fear.

            Anxiety is much like thick mud. Once we ride into it, we have a hard time getting out of it. When thus stuck, the effect is paralysis. Stuck people are miserable people, I’ve found. The only answer when you are stuck is to work at getting unstuck.

            Here’s something to consider: one of the most common commands we find in the Bible is “Fear not!” The text literally reads, “Stop being afraid!” Almost always, the next words are good news. Take the shepherds who were startled by the appearance of an angel. The first thing words out of the mouth of the angel were these, “Fear not!” Next, he told the good news of the birth of Jesus. After their heartbeat returned to normal they knew what they had to do—go to Bethlehem and see this baby for themselves.

            The pattern is: Stop the fear. Hear the good news. Do something.

            Has anxiety pulled you in to the mud? Are you stuck? Do you want to get out and get moving again? Sure you do; and more importantly, God wants you unstuck too. God’s children were not made to be stuck. We’re made to be free and live freely so we can love, so we can share the good news with a fearful world, and so we can reflect His light all the time.

            Hundreds of years ago, Martin Luther said this about the angel’s fear-freeing message: “The Gospel teaches that Christ was born, and that He died and suffered everything on our behalf, as is here declared by the angel. In these words you clearly see that He is born for us. [The angel] does not merely say, Christ is born, but to you He is born.”

            Time to get out of the mud; you don’t belong there a minute longer.