When worry and free-floating anxiety assault us, it is crucial to reject them immediately. In most cases, what we worry about will never happen and worry won’t help anyway. Instead, it can keep us from dealing with the situation in a balanced, decisive way. Anxiety is definitely not from God. It saps away our productivity and joy and is a frequent tool of Satan. It can enlarge into a phobia that traps us in a fear-filled world and limits our contact with others.
A story is told of the cat that disappeared from home. One day it returned, only there was something different about it. One side of the wayward feline was completely devoid of fur. There was nothing but bare skin. Something else was strange, too. While the cat previously spent most of its time outdoors, now nothing its owner did could coax it outside. If he tried to pick it up and put it outside, it bit him.
A short time later, the cat’s owner was sharing the situation with his neighbor. “I’ll bet I know what is wrong with your cat,” he said. Then he told him about a snake called a pine snake that emits a scent similar to catnip. When a cat smells it, the snake opens its mouth wide and swallows the animal. “It sounds like your cat ran into a pine snake,” said the neighbor.
The encounter with the snake so traumatized the cat that it decided that going outdoors was not safe. The same thing happens to some people. Because of a traumatic event, they decide that a certain person or place is unsafe and they wall themselves in.
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:6 that we are not to be anxious about anything, but in everything turn to God with thanksgiving and prayer and he will provide the peace we seek. We are to pray and turn the situation over to God, and then trust him to work it out.