Destructive Dogs and Anxious Hearts

Destructive Dogs and Anxious Hearts

Some of you may have met our dog, Presley. If you have met him, I
will just say that I’m sorry. He loves all people but sometimes shows
his love in very painful ways. He’s just about the picture-perfect
mutt and we only know of him having German Shepherd and Husky
in him. As it turns out, however, both of those breeds of dogs are
known for having what you would call “separation anxiety.”
Meaning that when their owners are away, they get anxious and
begin to panic on occasions. So, when Savannah or I are out of the
house,sometimes we come back to find some things(Bibles, picture
frames, expensive technology, etc.) in a worse state than we left
them in. That anxiety of being separated from his owners
sometimes leads him to take that anxiety out on some of our things.
And it is for that reason that as I type this out, he is now at home
contained by his kennel.

I mention that to say that I think that anxiety can do some of the
same things to us as well. Not that I think many of us take our
anxiety out on couch pillows or anything of the sort, but internally
it may have somewhat of the same effect. Anxiety (worrying over
things that we cannot control) can do tremendous damage
internally. God through the prophet Jeremiah would say, “The heart
is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know
it?” (Jer.17:9). An anxious heart can lead usto do or think thingsthat
we probably would not do otherwise. It can lead us to make rash
decisions and use poor judgment. Overall, an anxious heart stands
in the way of us living “soberly, righteously, and godly in the present
age” (Tit. 2:12).

What then can we do to fix this problem of having our emotions
swayed by an anxious heart? Scripture has the answers. Scripture
not only diagnoses the problems of life but gives the cures for them
as well. We know that Jesus had a lot to say about anxiety
particularly in Matthew 6:25-34. But the apostles Paul and Peter
also prescribe the cure for anxiety. Paul would say in Philippians 4:6,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and
supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to
God.” And Peter would say (and I appreciate the way the ESV
translates this verse) in 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your anxieties on
him, because he cares for you.”

I do not pretend to know all the ends-and-outs of prayer. What I do
know is that Scripture tells me that it works (Jas. 5:16). And
particularly for this article, that prayer is the cure for an anxious
heart. So, if that anxious feeling begins to surface, it might be time
to use that always open line of communication to God that He has
given us.

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