Review: Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado

Title: Anxious for Nothing
Author: Max Lucado
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Genre: Non-fiction/Christian devotional

Reading Time: N/A
Date Finished: March 30, 2021

Content Warnings: None

What Worked For Me: Absolutely everything
What Didn’t Work For Me: N/A

I read this at a very difficult time this year. March was the month of freaking out about getting a work visa to stay in the US. I needed to find a job before the deadline arrived and I was filled with a ton of anxiety. It happened that my best friend/roommate was out of the state for family reasons, so I was in the apartment alone as I sent out last-minute job applications, hoping that someone would respond and say they wanted me.

Seeing how anxious and stressed I was about the whole thing, my best friend lent me her copy of this devotional before she left. I let it sit on my shelf for awhile before deciding that I had to pick it up or risk becoming so anxious that I couldn’t function.

Reading this helped. So much. From the very first devotional, I felt myself becoming less anxious about the whole situation. It wasn’t just the perspective of what anxiety was and how I could avoid it from setting, I also really enjoyed going through the reflection questions. As someone who has been journaling for the better part of a decade, I knew how much more the book would stick with me if I answered each other questions and gave myself the time and space to answer honestly.

It became part of my morning routine. A way for me to set the day and remind myself that I didn’t have to be anxious about visa deadlines. I liked reading each short chapter and looking through the reflection questions. More than anything, I felt peaceful, grounded, and lighter because of this devotional.

On March 24, 2021, the day before visa applications were due, I had a particularly good chapter. It was titled “Prayer, Not Despair,” and that really resonated with me. I’ve always had a difficult relationship with prayer, especially during the past 18 months of my life, but March was really bad. I felt like I was praying and crying into a void without hearing anything. And somehow, this particular chapter made me feel more heard. Or at least, it felt comforting for the first time in months. After reading this chapter, I was able to go through my day without a weight of anxious dread about the deadline that was a little more than 24 hours away. That’s when I really recognized how much this devotional was helping me.

“Great Gratitude” was the title of my devotion on the 25th. Pretty perfectly titled for a day when I didn’t get my work visa and watched the clock strike noon without a job. I firmly believe that this chapter was instrumental in me not freaking out when I watched the clock hand cross the 12 p.m. mark. Some might call it irony that I read about having gratitude on a day where I didn’t get anything, but I like to think that I got peace for the day. A peace that allowed me find some sense of being okay despite knowing that my chances in the US was basically gone. I went the whole day without feeling any anxiety, and that’s what I remember most about March 25, 2021.

Obviously, this isn’t a normal book and quite different from my normal reviews, but I wanted to talk about it because this was one that made a big difference in my life. I still think about it from time to time and I’m glad I numbered the questions so well in my journal because I can go back and read my answers.

Max Lucado is well known among Christians for good reason. I know I’ll want to buy a copy of this for myself and start a small collection of his devotionals. I already know that he came out with a 365-day one this year that I want to get. Knowing how much this one impacted me over the course of 12 days, I can only imagine how much more I can gain from following a full year of his devotionals.

So while this isn’t a book I’d recommend to everyone because it’s religious and not all my followers share my faith, I look at it fondly and know that it helped me through one of my hardest, darkest times this year. No matter what your beliefs are, there’s a chance this might help in some way. And if you think that’s the case, I think there’s value in picking it up.

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