December 27 - St. Theophan the Recluse - Relief from Anxiety
Monday, 28th week after Pentecost
Epistle reading: 2 Timothy 2:20-26
Gospel reading: Mark 8:11-21

Relief from Anxiety

When the Lord sailed with His disciples to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, they forgot to take enough bread. Having only one loaf with them, they began to wonder what to do. Perceiving their thoughts, the Lord reminded them how He fed the multitudes of people in the past, convincing them that as long as He is nigh, they would never starve, even if they had no bread at all [Mark 8:19-21].

How much anxiety might a single thought about hazy future cause us at times! And there is only one relief from that anxiety — hope in the Lord, while extra encouragement and strength can be tapped from the past experience of our own and of other people. There is probably no one who has not lived through an unforeseen deliverance from trouble or an unforeseen turn of his fortune for the better at some moment in his life. Encourage yourself by bringing such instances to memory whenever your soul is beset by gloomy thoughts about the future.

God will provide for everything, now just as then. Trust Him, and even before helping you out of trouble, He will give you the spirit of tranquillity, and you will forget about your worry. “He that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about” [Psalm 32:10]. Finding such examples in the Holy Scriptures, in the Lives of Saints, in your own life, and in the lives of your friends, will clearly show you that “the Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him” [Psalm 145:18], and fears for the future will not trouble your soul any longer.