God’s presence is a comfort in all workplace anxiety
You know what anxiety feels like. Maybe it’s the lump in your stomach on your morning commute. Or it’s a buzzing in your mind that keeps you awake at night when you should be resting up for a long day at work. Those are some signs of workplace anxiety. But what is anxiety, really? Dictionaries define anxiety as worry, fear, or unease coming from uncertainty or lack of control. Anxiety is not new. It’s as old as the Bible – as long lived as uncertainty and humanity itself. Thankfully, the Bible can also help.
One of the Bible’s most famous psalms starts out by describing God at work. In Psalm 23, God is compared to a shepherd—he herds the sheep towards good grazing land, wards off predators, and comforts the sheep with his presence.
Later in the text, the writer of the psalm finds himself in the “darkest valley” (Psalm 23:4). In a work context, your “darkest valley” may be a place of uncertainty or lack of control. This might be a threat to your leadership at work, anxiety about your financial future, or other workplace fears.
While uncertainty at work is a normal part of being human, fear and worry don’t need to be. In difficult situations, Psalm 23 says that God himself is the antidote to anxiety. “I fear no evil for you are with me” (Psalm. 23:4a). If God is with you, you don’t need to fear the future. God’s help in your time of trial is not hypothetical, but tangible and real. Like a shepherd with a rod and staff, God has every instrument he needs to bring you safely through. God is working amidst the worst disasters work can throw at you. God can shepherd you through your deepest workplace anxieties to work out his purposes for you.
Prayer: God, I have uncertainties about my work. Help me trust that you are my shepherd. Calm my anxieties with your presence. Guide me to the right work to do today—to green pastures, fresh water, and rest.
Option for Further Exploration: For more about God’s promises in the midst of our darkest valleys, see The Theology of Work Bible Commentary on Romans 8:31-39 – Nothing Can Come Between Us and the Love of God.