Focus On What You Can Do and Give To God What You Cannot
Anxiety can come from any number of sources and have various levels of strength. A low level of anxiety for some may be choosing which checkout line to stand in at the grocery store while others would find them the same excruciating. The dirty little secret is that everyone deals with anxiety to some extent. As a Christian, we assume that we should be able to pray away our anxiety like washing the spring pollen off of our car or driveway. When that does not happen guilt sets in. You may feel that your faith is not strong enough to handle what you are going through which then makes you more anxious because you feel like your losing your faith or don't have any at all. Anxiety is a vicious animal isn't it.
You may have tried to find a way to cope with your anxiety. You bury it deep and ignore it only to find it expressing itself in unhealthy thoughts or bad habits that are an attempt at self-medication. If you are not careful, you start digging yourself a grave to get in. Unfortunately, some have found themselves there. No one is exempt to anxiety. The apostle Matthew wrote,
Matthew 5:45 (NLT)"In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike"
I think of this verse a lot! This verse is saying that life is hard whether you believe in God or not. When it rains, anyone who is out in the rain will get wet, regardless of what they believe.
In an attempt at transparency, anxiety has been nipping at my heels for some time. An accumulation of stressors at work, serious fire calls and over all burnout it has been easy to feel overwhelmed, defeated and empty.
You would think I am sounding like someone who has lost their faith but in actuality it is quite the opposite. Jesus' half-brother James who was instrumental in starting the first church knew a lot about anxiety. He wrote,
James 1:2-4 (NLT)Faith and Endurance2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If often thought and said, the greatest revelator of your faith in God will be the tests that you endure. I am still learning everyday more about what I "think" I can handle and what God "knows" I can handle. I do not share this as one who has stepped out of their self-imposed wilderness as someone who has mastered the art of dealing with anxiety. It is a process and some days are better than others. I am grateful to have family and friends that love me who are praying for me. I would welcome you to do the same.
Believer, take a moment today to enjoy something for a moment. Maybe it is a deep breath of fresh air, spending time with your loved one or pet but most importantly spending a few moments thanking God for His many blessings. You may think you cannot think of one but I know you can! If you are not a believer in Jesus, He loves you, He died for You and He took the penalty of your sins and shortcomings so you can have hope in a world full of anxiety. If you would like to know that hope of a relationship with Jesus. I would be honored to help.
Regardless of where you find yourself while reading this, all I can say is, "Focus On What You Can Do and Give To God What You Cannot"