When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.
Psalm 94:19 (NASB)
What makes you anxious? What keeps your from sleeping well at night and causes peace to flee? Take a moment to solidify that.
I know what causes me to worry. The safety of my kids. The balance between expenses and income. How this pandemic is going to end (and when). Pretty much anything actually. I'm a mom and grandmother. There is a lot to be anxious about!
So, I don't know how anxiety plays out in your life but for me - it hijacks my mind. I'm a silent worrier. Outside, I look calm, cool, collected, but inside... what a mess! Worry piles upon worry and anxiety builds. This build-up shuts down rational thinking which then further assists the anxiety spiral, and soon I cannot think of anything good or positive.
This is why it is so important for me to daily stay connected to God through His Word. I need a reality check - about me, my life, this world, the battle, and how it all concludes. Something to halt the downward spiral toward hopelessness and overwhelm that anxiety causes.
I love this quote:
We have nothing to fear for the future,
except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us,
and His teaching in our past history.
Whenever I catch myself being anxious, I try very hard (not always perfectly!) to stop, breathe, then remember specific instances in my past where God clearly rescued, provided, made a way through a difficult time. It's hard. I don't always want to look back. I get comfortable where I am, I want to be in control of my life, I want things to turn out when and how I want.
Another element to releasing anxious thoughts into Abba's very capable and willing hands is to express gratitude. Thinking of how God has given provision in the past, then expressing gratitude for that help leads to being able to experience peace.
It is not a sin to experience anxiety. God knows what it feels like to be human through His Son Jesus. And Jesus knew a lot about stress and concerning situations didn't He? He often went off alone to talk with His Father. And I am learning (all too slowly mind you), that the best place to carry my anxiety is to my Abba's embrace. I do this by reading scripture that speaks of God's provision, care, and love for me; remembering and speaking (or writing) how God has specifically provided for or rescued me in the past, and expressing my
gratitude for past help with a forward-focused faith that God keeps His promises. One of my most favorite scripture verses says it best of all....
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Listen to this famous hymn and breathe in its peace.
Please note that the anxiety I am referring to is not the same as an anxiety disorder, and I am not suggesting that a panic or anxiety disorder is cured by saying thank you! Sometimes medical help and therapy is required to manage mental health concerns. Please talk to your doctor if you are overwhelmed by anxiety or feel it is controlling your life. There is help available!