Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him,” Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” Genesis 15:1
It is no secret that I struggle with anxiety on a very large scale. It has been a struggle of mine since I can remember. My dad used to tell me that it was a sin to worry (Matthew 6:25-27) and because I am an anxious person, even as a little girl, I would then worry that I was worrying! Stop the insanity, Dana! I know that I appear anxious, but no one but God himself knows to what extent it grips my soul. This is my confession on the subject. As I read this verse about God telling Abram not to be afraid because He would protect him AND that his reward would be great, it occurred to me that He has, on several occasions over my life, told me the exact same thing. Yet, I have still allowed anxiety to grip me so profoundly at times I couldn’t move or form a complete thought. Aren’t I taking God’s power to heal me when I choose to focus on what is wrong rather than allow God to take care of things? Like Abram, God has promised me that He would take care of me because I am His. No matter what happens to me here on earth He will take care of me. I have to trust that He will. Anxiety has been such a constant part of my life it almost seems normal. I have come to realize, through a great deal of prayer, that it does not have to be that way. Literally, the only thing that matters is that I wake up each day and try to be more like Christ and live every moment for Him. He will take care of the rest. I cannot, no matter how much I worry, change a single circumstance. God is in control and even in my darkest moments, that truth brings the peace that passes all understanding. It reminds me that there is freedom from my anxiety. There is hope. I want you all to know that God can bring healing to the most impossible situations. All we have to do is surrender to Him. Admit what it is that you struggle with, take it to the cross and leave it there.
Society says it is okay to struggle with anxiety. That is how I was made so embrace this part of who I am. However, I am not to live for the world, but for God and He does not want me to live in the grip of anxiety. Not because He is standing over me waiting for me to give into this sin, but because He loves me too much to allow me to continue to struggle. Anxiety causes a great deal of physical and mental anguish. God doesn’t want that for me anymore than I would want it for my own children. I was born with the propensity to worry, but that doesn’t mean I have to give in to anxiety. The truth of the matter is that sin entered the world through the fall of man, but it doesn’t make it acceptable. When we give our lives to Christ, we die to ourselves so that we can live for Him. (Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God. Ephesians 4:22-24) I am focusing on anxiety because it is my struggle, but any and all sin is the same. No matter what your struggle with sin is God wants you to take it to Him so that He can bring healing to your heart. If I am being truly honest, I see it as a blessing. I know because of my struggle with anxiety that I need Christ every minute of every day. God told Abram not to be afraid because he would take care of him and he tells me the same thing. I know that one day when I meet Jesus face to face I won’t even remember what it felt like to struggle with anxiety. It will all be a distant memory. I look forward to that day more than you know. Until then I will talk to God daily read His word and allow Him to work in me to bring healing and peace to this girl’s heart.
Gracious God, thank You for reminding me that I don’t have to struggle with anxiety. You love me and have promised me that as a child of God I don’t have to suffer alone. Help me to recognize when I sin so that I can take it to You in prayer. Help me not to fall into acceptable sin that the world says is OK. I pray that I hear You above the roar of the world. I know that to do that I must study Your word daily and spend time with You in prayer. These things help me remain strong and I pray that I stay strong. In Jesus Name, Amen.