Today, I’m speaking mostly to the scared and fearful. That covers a lot of you I’m sure. It may not describe you all the time, but I’m sure most of you have felt this way at times. What do you do?
I’ll be talking about anxiety and fear for a few days. I don’t have a step-by-step for you. But I will give you some helps for the journey. You may use them in a different order than I do.
When do your fears hit you? Late at night? During the day? Where does your mind go?
For me, most of my fears hit me at night when I am trying to fall asleep. Everything looks bigger and darker then. Problems that look manageable in the daytime look gigantic at night. My brain is tired. Solutions are few…unless I wake up wide awake!
A common thread for me is often, “What will become of us?” I lie there and start to think of all the “What if’s?” Of course, this is one of the least productive paths to move along. It will lead you on the worst downward spiral of your life! Nothing good comes from it.
Then I am reminded that there is Someone caring for us. He has been watching over us for years! The times we get into trouble are those times when we think it is up to us to meet our needs, to care for ourselves, to do all the arranging of our lives that must be done.
But He has sovereignly cared for us for years. In times of illness when I had planned to work more, He provided for us. He didn’t do it in the ways we expected, but He did it. Did we prefer to have it done the way we wanted? Yes. I didn’t want four years of illness. But He had some things He had to teach me during that time. I’m sure He was teaching both of us to trust Him in new ways.
No amount of extra worrying or being scared would have helped. I wish I could say I always was trusting Him during that time. The fact is that often I was finding it difficult to put two thoughts together. But this is one area we need to be thinking about. It will affect the way we pray.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,
where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things that are above,
not on things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:1-2 ESV
More recently, as Ron has been struggling and I have had to take on more responsibilities, this Scripture comes to mind more frequently.
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 4:6-7 ESV
First response to anxiety, pray!
It’s almost as if our anxiety should be a signal to us that it is time to pray. Are you feeling anxious? Take those anxieties to your heavenly Father. Make those requests known to Him that you might not tell another person. Then let Him take care of it.
As a result of trusting Him to take care of those things that bring you anxiety and worry, His peace will watch over your heart and mind. Isn’t that a great promise?
So pay attention to your anxious thoughts. Let them push you to prayer. They are a reminder. GOD longs to take care of you. He wants you to come to Him with your desires and requests. What do you need? What keeps you awake at night? Tell Him about it. Wouldn’t you rather have His peace guarding your heart and mind?