I wanted to entitle this one “just hope” but that didn’t feel right.
I’ve experienced a lot of terrible situations in life that have left me fearful.
Imagine walking to your favorite restaurant. You already know how to get there so you don’t need a map. You know you need to cross a few streets and maybe wait at a few stop lights, but instead of walking the direct path from point A to point B, you stop behind each building you see along the way and then peek from behind the building’s walls before moving forward down the familiar path to your favorite restaurant. That’s what anxiety feels like to me. I feel like I have to hide behind bushes and buildings and wait to see if there’s any traffic rushing towards me before I step out into the street. I feel like a dangerous accident might happen.
Drunken driver. Malfunctioning airbag. Deer in headlights. Flock of geese.
I mean, anything could happen.
And that’s what anxiety feels like to me – like I need to have a peek around the corner before something terrible happens to me.
Sometimes when I feel that way, I remember this post I read a while ago “Expecting the good that God wants to give you“.
If you’re too lazy to read that short article, here is a powerful line that stood out to me:
“Fear is the opposite of faith and it takes faith to accept anything good in our lives.”
This verse is powerful too:
All the days of the oppressed are miserable, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.
– Proverbs 15:15 HCSB
satan wants us to focus on the terrible things in life that have happened, are happening, or could happen. When you’re stuck on focusing on anything/anyone but God, it is so very easy to become anxious and depressed. We don’t focus on His abilities. We focus on our inabilities. When you see no way out, of course you’ll feel trapped and saddened.
Exodus 20:2-3. Israelites have just been delivered from slavery. God doesn’t want them running their lives by the rules of the old land so he gives them rules on how to live life free.
The first thing He says to them is
““I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. “You must not have any other god but me.”
Exodus 20:2-3 NLT
If you look up the definition of “god” you’ll find it associated with words like worship and adoration and admiration. Whatever or whoever receives our worship, adoration, and admiration is our god. God wants us to make Him our priority.
Obtaining freedom from anxiety involves keeping God #1. Not our jobs (or lack thereof). Not homework. Not friends. Not boyfriends. Not girlfriends. Not spouses. Anything else you could name doesn’t count as God.
But when we focus on God we learn things like true love (click this link & the ones below).
We learn that He is our refuge so we can run to Him at any time.
And not just any time in a fearful way but any time and confidently.
We learn that He’s forgiving.
We learn that He’s patient.
We learn that He is merciful.
We learn that He can bring to fruition things that are seemingly impossible.
We learn that He understands us.
Yup, understands us.
And loves us exactly as we are…
But too much to leave us there.
When we trust Him with every aspect of our lives, He directs us. And He doesn’t just direct us in a far off, distant sort of way. He cares about every single detail of our lives.
The God of Christianity isn’t at all a tyrant as some have presumed. He is the One who brings meaning to life.
He brings good things to those who follow Him.
And our God is very good.