July 29, 2016

Reflection / Mike Krokos

Worried? Anxious? Afraid? Book offers scriptural insights to help

If you’re human, you can’t help but feel heartache and sadness when you learn of the latest tragedy that has taken the lives of countless innocent people—again.

We only need to turn to newspaper, TV or radio accounts to see how recent acts of evil have shaken communities in Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, or across the globe in Nice, France, and Istanbul, Turkey, to offer examples of senseless violence that have gripped humanity.

As our world seems to spiral more and more out of control, do you find yourself worried about the future? Anxious? Afraid?

Author Thomas Lamb’s 2014 book, Do Not Worry, Do Not Be Anxious, Do Not Be Afraid: A Self-Help Manual for People Who Worry A Lot and Suffer Anxiety and Fear offers a Scripture-based roadmap for leading Christ-centered lives despite the worry, anxiety and fear many of us face because of life’s ongoing challenges.

“In the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, there are over 200 sites where God’s people are directed to not worry, not be anxious and not be afraid,” writes Lamb in the book’s introduction. “All of these messages come down to one thing: God is driving the bus … we don’t have to worry. We don’t have to be anxious. We don’t have to be afraid.”

From the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation, the author shares more than 200 verses in the Bible that can lead us to “enjoy a wonderful, calm, peaceful mental status in spite of whatever difficulties arise,” Lamb says.

The idea for the book, he notes, came from a dreamlike experience he had in his 30s where he died, went to the throne of God, and was asked by our Creator: “Did you read my book?”

Since then, Lamb has read the entire Bible seven times, and read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for 23 years in a row.

“When we read the Gospels, we are getting an inside view of God’s personality, God’s thinking and God’s mentality,” the author writes. “Our God is so generous that he reveals himself to whomever reads the Gospels. What an amazing gift this is. … And the more we read the Scriptures, the stronger our faith becomes.”

Lamb, who studied for the priesthood for several years where he developed a love and knowledge of Scripture, is a member of St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis.

He completed graduate clinical training at the IU Medical Center in the department of psychiatry, and was appointed an assistant professor. Lamb later operated a private clinical practice. He also has earned a graduate degree in theology from Loyola University of New Orleans.

“Sacred Scripture has the power to inform us. Sacred Scripture also has the power to form us,” Lamb writes. “Sacred Scripture has the power to transform us into a spiritual being that is no longer troubled with worry, anxiety or fear.”

The words of the Bible, he added, are timeless.

‘The ink of the Scriptures is never dry,” he writes. “It is as if it has just been written just for you and for me.”

(Mike Krokos is editor of The Criterion. Do Not Worry, Do Not Be Anxious, Do Not Be Afraid: A Self-Help Manual for People Who Worry A Lot and Suffer Anxiety and Fear, is available in paperback at outskirtspress.com, Amazon, and Amazon Kindle. The audio version of the book is available for free on audible.com.)

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