A Jesus for the Anxious

August is always a stressful month for me now. It’s not August now, but the second half of July is usually even worse, because, well, I’m a worrier. I look to the future and concoct a virtual Choose Your Own Adventure book of possibilities, and guess what I gravitate toward, the happy or unhappy endings?

Do you ever find yourself doing that? Do you ever get overwhelmed by things that haven’t even happened, by a horizon that is all but certain at the time, at the prospect of unwanted developments? Maybe you’re one of those blessed individuals who is gifted always to live in the moment. God bless you! God has blessed you. Enjoy it. Some of us aren’t, though.

What is there, then, for those of us given to worry? Well, someone could tell us not to worry. Jesus does say not to worry, after all. You know how I feel when someone says that, though? I feel like I need to worry about worrying now. I’m thrust even deeper into my anxiety.

Christ must step in when we get overwhelmed. Christ must set us free. Christ must remind us that He has guided our past, is present with us in our present, through Word and Sacrament, and that our future rests in His hands, pierced for our transgressions. What we need is freedom and hope, the very thing Christ came to give, the very benefits of the gospel.

Be free in Christ our Jesus, fellow worriers. Be free from your past and your future. Be free in your present. Know that you have a hope beyond anything the English word “hope” can express. You are baptized. You are bought at a price, the price of God’s own blood. You are the apple of His eye, dressed in His righteousness, sons and daughters of the promise, bearers of His name. Worried? I’m sure you still will be. Don’t worry about worrying, though. You are free from it, even as it tries to claim you. Look to Jesus, crucified for sinners, for you and me, and know that your worries can never be bigger than His love.