Encountering her in the middle of nowhere was a tense moment. And wondering how she’d react only increased our anxiety.
My brother and I were on the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia. We had repeatedly heard rustling in the leaves ahead of us but never observed the culprit. Suddenly it appeared as we rounded a curve in the trail: a mother bear with two cubs. We froze in our tracks as she eyed us. We knew this was the most dangerous situation in which to encounter a bear. We slowly backed away, blew a whistle, and rattled branches, hoping she wouldn’t bound around the curve with teeth bared. Fortunately, she mosied along, and so did we.
I’ve lived through many anxious moments and obviously so did the psalmist. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer (Psalm 94:19 NLT).
When anxiety begins its approach, I’ve learned to ask, “Is what I’m anxious about worth worrying about?” Then I remember Jesus said I shouldn’t worry (Matthew 6:25), and Paul echoed the same (Philippians 4:6). There are some things I should fear…like a mother bear with cubs, and there are many things I should be concerned about, but moving to anxiety or worry crosses the line and demonstrates my mistrust of God.
When I give my concerns and anxieties to God, he promises a peace that transcends my understanding (Philippians 4:7). This peace comes when I believe by faith that he’s in control, loves me, and has my best interests at heart. Sure bad things will happen, but God promises to weave all things together for my good…and yours too.
Regardless of how trying your situations may be, if asked, God will give you wisdom to make the right decisions along with the ability to live anxiety free.
Prayer: Thank You merciful and gracious Father for calming our fears and relieving our anxieties.
Martin Wiles is a “preacher’s kid,” author, speaker,
and freelance writer and editor currently living in Greenwood, South Carolina.
He and his wife Michelle are founders of Love Lines From God, a devotional
ministry that helps those who want to enhance their spiritual journey with
Christ. His latest book, Grits & Grace & God, is available at