Sunday, December 13, 2009
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25
As I grew into adulthood I became a full blown worrier. So much so that eventually my Glenn would come to call me “Worry Care,” but he has always tried to help me let go of my worries by trusting in the LORD. This was/is, of course, easier said than done--- at least it was for me. I spent so many years of happy motherhood and as a happy wife in needless worry, fear, and anxiety. I can now look back and say, “Yes, Glenn was right. Everything I worried over, everything I had anxiety over, never turned out to happen. I did waste that time.”
My main thinking was, “What happens if this happens?” or “What happens if that happens?” Or “Why isn’t he home yet?” Or “What am I doing here? etc….” I would be all a jumble inside going from one fear to the next. The sad fact was that I was choosing to go down the road of fear and anxiety even if I did not realize this.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
In this world there is a lot to worry about. We must be concerned about all sorts of things, especially if we have children. For the most part, our husbands can be buffers to protect us from much of what is “out there” so that we can go on and do the next things for the good of our families. This must be why the LORD made men (in general) so logical, with the capability to compartmentalize. This way they can (in general) handle the “ICK” in life and we, as their helpmates, can proceed on a “need to know” basis. In this way we can continue to make a happy, comfortable, nurturing home for our families without freaking out most of the time.
I am now 53 and, although I had learned to lean on the LORD more, I began to actually trust God - for real - about 10 years ago. It was the day my son, 18, (the baby of the family) began his daily commute to his apprenticing job which was 45 miles away. I was an anxious mess inside. I was worried about car wrecks, wood saw accidents, etc. I waved as he drove away, ready to bust because I was so very worried. As I walked inside frantically praying for his safety the LORD gently nudged me to just let go, to stop the worry------and so I supernaturally did.
Of all the things I had worried about concerning just my son---absolutely none of these things have ever happened. All the anxiety I had had was not of God. Do I still worry? Do I still have anxiety attacks? Yes, but it is different now. I am able to pull away and talk with God and be in His peace, but it is my choice to do this. I could just as easily choose to go down the road of worry and fear.
How do we initiate the correct choice? How do we stop the anxiety?
“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
We need to think on ways to not go into those feelings that take us down this wrong road. We must think of ways to stop ourselves from going into those feelings, ways to get out of those times when we are overwhelmed in anxiety. We must make plans ahead of time that work for us individually. The strategies that work for me may not help you.
“Finally, brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me---put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
“Life” in its many facets can be full of anxiety. The holiday season can be dripping with anxiety. This is true for me especially as I now deal with broken dreams and hopes of better days ahead with truant family members.
I hope you know that I am not being flippant concerning your or my anxiety-----as I know full well what it is to be fearful and anxious. As I have written this to you----I am also writing it to myself since this life is full of trials and can be extremely difficult.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34
I hope this bit of encouragement may be used of God to lift your heads out of your general anxiety and even perhaps your greater anxiety.
“But You are a shield around me, O LORD; You bestow glory on me and lift my head.” Psalm 3:3
We do not need to fear because as a daughter of the Most High, He is with us always and everywhere no matter what worry, fear, or anxiety grips us.
Psalm 139 would be wonderful for us to read right now, but until then---
“You hem me in---behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5