On Anxiety, Food and Prayer

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything , by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” – Philippians 4:6

Today I had a mini-breakdown of sorts. I was sitting in my office, trying to do work when I became very anxious. I don’t know about you, but with me this is something that happens every now and then. I’m not really sure what triggers it. It starts as just thinking  about one thing, which will lead me to start thinking about something else, which leads to something else and so on until I’m bombarded with everything that has been on my mind lately. And once that happens, I begin to feel the need to have everything resolved right now. The realization that it can’t all be resolved right now causes me more stress, to the point that I feel a tightening in my chest and my breathing becomes strained.

When this starts happening, my first urge is to eat, especially when one of the many things on my mind is worrying about the food in my fridge going bad. I know this is not right. I consider it a problem when something goes wrong and I am more apt to opening the refrigerator than opening my Bible.  To me this is no better than someone who opens a bottle of alcohol or pack of cigarettes when he or she becomes anxious. Fortunately, when this anxiety hit me today I was at work and didn’t have access to my fridge. BUT I was able to go to God in prayer and discuss with him all the many things that were causing me to be anxious. And let me tell you, that was all I needed to do.

This incident was a reminder to me though. I have to be careful to not make a false god out of food, even the healthy stuff. I think it’s a good thing that I am trying to eat more healthfully, but it must be kept in its proper place. Food can’t become a crutch that I lean on more than God. If, instead of eating when I feel anxious, I take it to God in prayer, the Bible tells me that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” That sounds like a much better outcome than a food coma.

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