Today’s scripture: Matthew 6:25-34 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Derin Kyle):

As an individual that experiences high levels of anxiety on a regular basis, I find extreme comfort in today’s scripture. Verse 34 reads, “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Often, I must force myself to remember this. I am very easily able to get caught up in all the stresses of life and they become overwhelming; and as a reaction, my brain goes into “defense mode” making me feel disconnected and dissociative to all that may cross my mind. I become so overwhelmed with the future, I forget about now. I forget that I am breathing now, that I am thinking and experiencing now and that  is enough stress on its own.

There is a line in the video I’ve decided to share today that goes “Head’s stuck in a cycle, I look off and I stare. It’s like that I’ve stopped breathing but am completely aware.” The songwriter (the very talented Lady Gaga) explained that she wrote this in reflection of her experiences with mental health. I resonate with these words significantly but what resonate with most is the chorus. “When I bow down to pray, I try to make the worst seem better. Lord, show me the way to cut through all this worn out leather. I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away, but baby I just need one good one to stay.”

What sticks out to me most, about this, is having just one good reason to be able to carry on. When I am struggling with anxiety, it is these good reasons that give me the strength to carry on. These reasons can include my husband, my pets, children in my life, music, or anything that connects me with God. These things bring me back to the now, where I know things are ok and where I know that I am safe; and I am thankful.

Prayer for the day: God, so often I get caught up in the stresses of my life that I sometimes forget to stop to smell the flowers. I pray that You help me recognize when I am getting caught up in my trials and tribulations and that You help me to remember to appreciate the small joys in my life so that I may find peace in all of the chaos.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.