This is a conversation we need to be having in our churches as we live in a society that is driven by fear.
Don’t think our society is running over with fearfulness?
How about the commercials reminding us if we don’t save for retirement we may end up destitute, homeless and hungry. And then the advertisements that recommend we get insurance to cover our retirement in case the bottom falls out and we lose all that we worked our whole lives to save. And if that isn’t enough to trouble your heart, buy gold because the banks will be useless once the apocalypse hits. Oh, and the apocalypse IS coming, don’t doubt it according to most news channels it’s called the next world war. And then there’s North Korea shooting missiles over the ocean trying to hit somebody…anybody. I can’t even count how many commercials I’ve seen advertising drugs to help prevent or fight diseases we may get one day, better buy some and be prepared for your impending illness, according to the company selling it.
Sometimes I wonder if we are having a love affair with being terrified. Or maybe a love/hate relationship. I mean, look at the movies that make bajilliions of dollars whose sole purpose is to scare the “you know what” out of its audience. And how many CSI’s are there now? No wonder we worry when our kids don’t text back right away, in our overactive imaginations we have them living out a scene in Criminal Minds. For the record, I watched that show once, NEVER AGAIN. Talk about the creeps!
I could go on, but you get the idea.
I’m not saying we wish anxiety on ourselves. But I guess I am saying we need to pay more attention to what we listen to and watch that might be feeding our already established fears.
So what CAN I do to live in peace, to feel safe?
That’s the golden question.
I don’t have the answer. There, I said it. I know, all that reading only for me to say that I don’t have the answer. I know that’s not what you expected to hear. BUT, I know ONE who DOES have the answer, as a matter of fact, HE IS THE ANSWER. This idea of talking positively enough to make my fears vanish or acting like my fears aren’t there will somehow make it true is not how to find the peace we seek. Trying to shove it under the rug so others won’t see and judge us will only prolong the agony. Turn on the light in your soul and look at your fears in the face. I know it will be hard, but it is the only way to BEGIN to find peace.
It is a PROCESS.
And maybe a LONG process, I’m not even sure we ever reach the destination of “no more worries” until we get to heaven. But, I DO know we can find more and more peace as we learn to surrender what we don’t know. What does that mean? As we lay our uncertainties before the Lord in prayer, and we remind ourselves that He is working ALL things together for our good, and that His plans are good, we find our way to a place of trust. And trust is the opposite of anxiety.
Freedom from anxiety involves a very deliberate process, a training of how we think. And we have to accept that the healing will most likely involve pain, because life hurts.
For me personally, instead of letting my mind go to the worst case scenario when I hear of a place crash, I stop and remind myself WHO is really in control of our lives. I remind myself that I can trust God’s judgement and know He is on my side and then I am better able to cope with the uncertainty.
This is my goal, not always my reality.
What we are chasing is a daily, deliberate walk into a deeper more trusting relationship with Jesus.
It takes TIME.
This walk we’re on from here to heaven can feel crushing at times, but we don’t have to let fear have the last word. We must learn to keep walking in spite of the fear all the while deliberately focusing our minds on the FACT that God is in control and NOTHING is spinning out of control. We may not like the direction God has us headed, or the heavy burden He seems to place on us at times, BUT we can take it one day, one hour, one moment at a time.
So, as I told you at the beginning, when these nights happen, I have learned to pray. I turn my cares over to God, sometimes by prying my own hand off of them, and return in my mind to the present where He is constantly sustaining me. It sounds so easy, but I know from experience how feelings of anxiety can make your heart beat faster and make you want to run for cover, literally.
I’ve hidden under the covers more than once.
I want to challenge you to ask yourself and God to show you what is “driving” your anxiety? What is it that makes you feel like you can’t handle your reality? Are you accidently “feeding” your anxiety by what you may be watching? Start there and make small daily choices to turn to God when those familiar feelings of fear rear their ugly head.
You’re right if you think you can’t overcome anxiety, YOU can’t but you AND your Heavenly Father CAN.
Be patient with yourself and DON’T GIVE UP! The work for freedom will be worth it in the end.
Don’t let anxiety steal anymore of your life.
I sure hope I don’t leave you feeling like I have my act together. These are things He’s teaching me. There are days where it seems like my trust is never ending and then on other days I cry…a lot. My point in writing all of this is to encourage you and let you know…
YOU ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE!
1-2 “I cry out loudly to God,
loudly I plead with God for mercy.
I spill out all my complaints before him,
and spell out my troubles in detail:
3-7 “As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away,
you know how I’m feeling,
Know the danger I’m in,
the traps hidden in my path.
Look right, look left—
there’s not a soul who cares what happens!
I’m up against it, with no exit—
bereft, left alone.
I cry out, God, call out:
‘You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!’
Oh listen, please listen;
I’ve never been this low.
Rescue me from those who are hunting me down;
I’m no match for them.
Get me out of this dungeon
so I can thank you in public.
Your people will form a circle around me
and you’ll bring me showers of blessing!”