Anxiety: One Bite at a Time

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One Bite at a Time

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Anxiety is a very real problem in our fast-paced world. We’re bombarded with countless demands on our time—work, school, errands and even the constant notifications on our phones. There’s so much to do! How can we ever complete what we set out to accomplish?

Years ago, my sister and I were introduced to an old children’s TV series starring Shari Lewis, The Shari Show. Set in a fictional TV station, the program did a great job of addressing some universal problems that affect us not only as children, but throughout life. In a program entitled “Leave it to Lolly,” a would-be producer named Lolly was experiencing a lot of stress while planning her game show. Her friend Shari interrupted her in the midst of a conversation about all the things she was getting anxious about with the words “have a Danish.” (A Danish is a large pastry similar to a croissant). Lolly initially refused, but when pressed, she agreed to take a bite. “Why didn’t you eat this whole Danish all at once?” Shari asked her friend. “You have to eat it one bite at a time,” Lolly replied. The point of this conversation was simple—if there’s a big task, we have to take it one step at a time.

Scripture points us to the same principle. Christ instructed His followers, “therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). The human tendency is to seek control over our lives, handling big problems all by ourselves, instead of turning to God for the help and support He offers. The psalmist David understood the need to turn to God for help. “Cast your burden on the LORD,” the psalmist wrote, “and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). Another source of help when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances is God’s people. We’re told to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

It’s okay to ask for help. Most importantly, go to God in prayer and ask for help and strength in the specific areas of your life where you struggle. He may intervene directly, or at times, He works through others. People may come to you, offering to help, but even if they don’t see the struggle or know how to step in, it’s okay to ask. If you’re looking for a job, spread the word! Some of the best jobs I’ve had were gotten through the recommendation of a friend. If you’re struggling to find childcare, ask friends who they hire. If your project is overwhelming, ask for volunteers, maybe exchanging pizza for a few hours of your friends’ time. It’s tempting to tackle our challenges alone, as if that’s some kind of solo victory to brag about. But if you’re willing to open up to others about your needs, chances are, you’ll find people who are ready to help and you’ll make so many more memories together accomplishing the task as a team.

What are you anxious about? How will you have the strength to complete the task ahead? Trust God with the whole Danish and focus on taking one bite at a time. Be willing to share the pastry with others, delicious as it might seem to enjoy the victory of completion alone! God is not going to allow you to be faced with more than He knows you can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13), so don’t try to force that limit. It might feel like a strong thing to do, but this battle isn’t about our strength—it’s about God’s strength (Philippians 4:13). You’re not alone in this struggle. Just take it one bite of pastry at a time.