Someone besides me needs to hear this today…
Anxiety says, “You can’t do this on your own.”
Surrender says, “You were never meant to.”
These words came to mind this morning as I looked ahead into the next few months contemplating goals, deadlines, and desires I have for my family and myself. We’re no strangers to anxiety, are we? We know full well when it arrives taking away our deep breaths and content perspective. It’s a cruel master that robs us of joy and peace while rushing our lives into a blur.Whether you’re 16 or 66, we all need to be reminded that we were never meant to do life on our own. Are you transitioning to a new school and feel alone among the crowds, anxious for a sense of belonging? Maybe this is your first year with all of your kids in school and you’re anxious about your schooling decision in a world where Code Reds and Lockdown Procedures are as real as fire drills. Perhaps you just hung up the phone with an aging parent and feel anxious for their future and what difficult decisions you may have to make with or for them in upcoming months or years.
Anxiety doesn’t require monumental circumstances to imbed itself into our lives. Sometimes it’s just a nagging, unrelenting undercurrent to everything we do and we wake up day in and day out wondering when we’ll feel relief.
Can you relate?
I need something more real than my circumstances to rely on if I’m going to live the abundant life I claim to believe in. I need something stronger than a rapid pulse, tension headache, and shallow breath to guide my emotions. What is able to undercut anxiety’s claim of, “You can’t do this on your own”, because the longer I live the quicker I realize the hard-learned truth of that statement?
We cannot do this on our own. We were never meant to. When we surrender to a God whose presence and purpose is constant, we hand over unhealthy control and the anxiety attached to it. We need a God with impeccable timing to send the right people in the right moment, a God who knows my worst enemy’s worst fear, a God who knows my weaknesses and isn’t limited by them. I surrender to a listening God who invites me to talk to him about my lack of control controlling me.
For years I struggled with how an unseen God could practically help during difficult times. He seemed too big, too distant for my harsh reality. God, you may have created the universe and everything in it, but I just needed someone to get my baby to eat without screaming in pain (reflux, anyone?). God, I love your plan for eternity and all, but waiting for our financial situation to improve is taking forever! God, you split huge bodies of water in two long enough for your people to walk across safely, so can I ask that my sweet children be safe while they learn to read and write in their classrooms?
Philippians 4:7 says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God’s pathway to peace bypasses our highest IQ’s and EQ’s. His peace begins in our deepest, inner being and changes how we perceive life. There are times He changes circumstances, but more often He changes our hearts. The ready presence of His peace is our most powerful weapon against anxiety in any given situation. Be bold in asking for it and when it comes, don’t be blind to its source. Give thanks and enjoy it. We ask for protection from this temporary life and God guards our hearts and minds for all of eternity. It’s the ultimate upgrade.
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5b-7