Anxiety – a thin stream of fear

 

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. Robert Albert Bloch

Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917 – September 23, 1994) was a prolific American crime, horror and science fiction. You remember the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Psycho”? Well that was based on the book Psycho written by Bloch.

But back to his quote ...

We can’t control the thoughts that pop into our minds, but we can control what we do with the thought, how we let the thought affect us. Anybody who suffers from anxiety knows how anxious thoughts can spiral out of control.

Your partner doesn’t answer the phone …
Whoops! what do you think has happened?
Does your mind run out of control cutting a stream, or raging river of fear through your mind? He’s had an accident, better phone the hospital.
Or … He’s having an affair and doesn’t want me to get through to him.
And so on and so forth, our minds can get quite carried away, when we presume we know what has happened and also presume that our thoughts are telling us the truth!

When that thin stream of anxiety enters your head, don’t let it gather momentum by catastrophizing and predicting the worst. Whatever thought pops into your head, ask yourself if you have any proof that what you’re thinking is right. There’s most likely none!

Every time my mind starts getting carried away with disastrous thoughts, I remind myself that I haven’t got any proof! Needless to say, the thought doesn’t go away with one rebuttal, it might take several. The bottom line is that you don’t want to encourage the thought.

This is a fantastic tool for keeping control on anxiety.  Try it out!

 

Worry saps our strength – Corrie Ten Boom

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie Ten Boom knew the importance of staying focused in the present. She needed strength to get through each day rather than wasting valuable energy worrying about tomorrow. For her, the possibility of  tomorrow never coming was very real.

The Ten Boom  family, were devoted Christians who dedicated their lives serving others. During the Second World War, this dedication was put to the test as they turned their home into a hiding place, for Jews and others hunted by the Nazis.

During 1943 and into 1944, there were usually 6-7 people illegally living in their home, 4 Jews and 2 or 3 members of the Dutch underground. By opening up their home in this way they saved an estimated 800 Jews, and protected many Dutch underground workers.

On February 28, 1944, the family was betrayed and the Nazi secret police raided their home. Corrie and her sister Betsie spent 10 months in three different prisons, the last was the infamous Ravensbruck Concentration Camp near Berlin in Germany. Life in the camp was almost unbearable. In her book “Tramp for the Lord”, Corrie describes how the camp was full of fleas. Instead of being miserable, Corrie gave thanks to the Lord for the fleas because it kept the guards at a distance, allowing Corrie and Betsie to spend their time sharing Jesus’ love with their fellow prisoners. Many women became Christians in these awful circumstances because of Corrie and Betsie.

Four of the Ten Boom family lost their lives during the war, but Corrie survived.  She realized her life was a gift from God, and needed to share what she and Betsie had learned in Ravensbruck:

There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still” and “God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies” (which amazingly she did).

At the age 53, Corrie began a world-wide ministry. She traveled to more than 60 countries in the next 33 years where she testified to God’s love and encouraged all she met with the message that “Jesus is Victor.” Corrie died on her 91st birthday, 15 April 1983.

Jesus said “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own“. (Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Corrie’s amazing life story can be read in the books “The Hiding Place” and “Tramp for the Lord”. I read “Tramp for the Lord” many years ago and found it truly inspiring book.

 

Keep moving forward!

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, a theologian, a spiritual writer, a musician, an author of poetry and fiction. He was also a martyr dying for what his beliefs. His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world, have become widely influential, notably his book ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ which is regarded by many as a modern classic.

Bonhoeffer also became known for his determined resistance to the Nazi dictatorship during World War II. He was a strong opponent to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He didn’t just speak words of protest but was involved in plans by the German Military Intelligence Office to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo, he was executed by hanging in April 1945, only twenty-three days before the German surrender.

His beliefs and convictions ultimately cost him his life in a Nazi concentration camp. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of the most famous theologians and martyrs of the 20th century.