Anxiety is the result of us losing control, the funny part is…thinking we ever had it.
I’m not one that tends to worry a lot. I think the best outcomes are possible, everything will be ok and I walk with a whole lotta hope. BUT, even I can get wrapped up in the game of worry when my security is compromised and my outcome does not fare well.
Unforeseen circumstances can throw me into a tailspin of doubt, worry and unfortunate fear that ultimately lead me to the one and only source I can trust, my Father, my LORD.
As prayers pour from my mouth faster than tears, I hear one word fighting it’s way through the chaos, trust.
A simple but loaded word.
Of course I say I trust God, when there’s food in my fridge and gas in my tank but what about when I’m running on empty and scrounging for scraps? How does my trust weather in that storm? I was about to find out.
So as I prayed, as I heard His word, “trust”, I opened my bible. Not knowing where to go, I trusted my instinct…listened to prompts.
First stop, Ephesians. I found the word inheritance.
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,”
Ephesians 1:11 ESV
Inheritance, defined by the World Wide Web as a thing that has been inherited, the action of inheritance. And it hit me, my inheritance in Him has already been set, it has been promised, therefore despite what ‘the world’ tells me or takes away from me, I’m good…He has already set aside ALL that I will need.
Next stop, Colossians. (Apparently God really wanted me to sit with Paul for a hot second…nothing puts you in your place like comparing your 1st world problems to that of a prophet that did hard core prison time! Good one God, you got me.)
“You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world,”
Colossians 2:20 NLT
Yassssss! Ok, so this doesn’t need much explaining but it does bear repeating. Why we we STILL living for what this world can offer when Christ has promised us so much more?! Why do we worry or fear what the world can take away when He will provide ALL that we need?!
Ok, so my most recent stop and honestly…what connected all my dots, the book, Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado.
There are so many gems to unpack that point back to scripture…I’ll have to split them into multiple posts but here is this.
“Be anxious for nothing.” Phil 4:6
When I read this verse, I see an unattainable goal that I likely can not hit. Anxious for NOTHING? Is that truly possible when living on this earth? But then Lucado explains the behind the scenes message, what Paul meant as he wrote these words. “He wrote the phrase in the present active tense, which implies an ongoing state…the life of perpetual anxiety.”
It’s not that we can’t have anxiety period. Anxiety in itself is not bad, it’s an emotion…much like anger, frustration, disappointment. While it’s not one any of us would sign up for, it is a symptom of this life. BUT it doesn’t have to be “our prison” as Lucado points out. It’s not somewhere we camp out and live our daily life. It’s where we recognize where we are feeling worry and then release it to God…our sovereign LORD.
So that brings me to my last “aha” moment…Sovereignty. Lucado defines it like this, “Sovereignty…the term the Bible uses to describe God’s perfect control and management of the universe. He preserves and governs every element….directing them to act in a way that fulfills his divine purpose.”
You see, I completely missed the point when I focused on my fear and skipped past Gods sovereignty. To know that none of us are actually in control. Yes we can control our words, our actions, what we wear but beyond basic every day choices, we live among a landmine of uncertainty. This thought alone can provoke anxiety but it’s our perspective that can walk us through it. If you see yourself as the only way out, you will live a life of that perpetual anxiety mentioned earlier. You will be in a constant state of panic and worry. But when you give that role back to God, our creator, redeemer, savior, then you can sit back and watch His sovereignty (control and management of the universe for His purpose) unfold.
How do we do that?
Honestly, it’s quite simple. You stop turning to this world for answers and you look to Him. You pray for guidance, a good counselor, the right treatment (when necessary), the support of words, the comfort of people. When we ask, He reveals but our heart must be open. We must stay solid in His truth.
Long before our lives ever existed, there were prophets and disciples that laid it all out. Find the version that you understand…check out the application bible or “the message” version on your app. Just read and take in His goodness, His sovereignty.
God does not shame us for feeling anxious, He shows us in scripture how to leave it at His feet and look up for relief.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.””
Lamentations 3:21-24 NIV
So brothers and sisters, if worry and anxiety plague you this morning or every morning…look to the one source that can lighten your load. Perspective is a whole new ball game and He is the star pitcher.