One topic that is often overlooked, but certainly coming to the forefront with the extended social isolation and pandemic, is that of Mental Health. In particular, anxiety seems to creep up, especially in the midst of uncertainty and an ever-changing landscape that appears to be shifting daily. Having dealt with anxiety off and on over the years, I know how challenging this can be and the mental, emotional, and physical toll this can take. This is one reason why we have also attached two links from Halton Health as a resource for you this week. Click here for a list of supports available across Halton and here for a video from Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.
While there are many coping mechanisms that help, ranging from physical exercise to good eating habits to pausing for deep breaths, what I have found most effective is turning to scripture and the power of God’s word to speak into my life and usher in His peace. Two particular passages that have spoken to me that I would like to share with you are Philippians 4:6-7 and 1 Peter 5:6-10.
To start with, Philippians 4:6 commands us, “Do not be anxious about anything,” and 1 Peter 5:7 instructs, “casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you”. This is clearly not a new, 21st century problem, but something that God is familiar with and wants us to give over to Him. Oftentimes, one of the biggest mistakes that we make is we think that we can resolve our anxiety,or other problems too, for that matter, on our own or by looking inwardly. The reality is that we need to recognize our dependence on God and the fact we need His help. 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves,therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.” In other words, the first step is humility and the second step is giving it to God.
1 Peter 5:8-9 also identifies the root of a lot of the anxiety that comes our way and tells us to, “Be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” And instructs us, “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” In a time of global pandemic, it highlights that this is a common problem everywhere and that fear is one of the weapons that the enemy uses to cause us to be anxious.
What I love about scripture though, is that contrary to the rhetoric of the world, it offers us hope. Peter goes on to say that, “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace…will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” He promises us restoration and strength to continue our journey. Paul also explains how in Philippians 4:7 that, “the Peace of God, which surpases all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’ It’s His peace that provides shelter and covers us, so that our hearts and minds are not destroyed, but strengthened.
I know these passages have particularly been impactful and sustained me through some difficult times. I pray that they will do the same for you and come as an encouragement, as we are here at Trinity to support you with God’s help.
Click here for my short video update for this week.
J-D Lussier, Principal