I don’t like it when I am tested on the very things that I teach others about. It is easy for me to talk about truth that I find in the Bible, but when I am faced with those things myself, I am tested on whether or not I really believe what I say about God or not, and right now, I am there.
The Bible tells us to be still and know that God is in control (Psalm 146). I don’t see it as a sin when we feel anxiety; it is very human to feel fear and anxiety. God gave us our emotions as a gift. But I do think that God tells us to not feel anxious because he knows how much damage is done to us when we are in a chronic state of anxiety. Medical conditions such as digestive disease, heart disease, migraines, insomnia, and much more have been connected to stress and anxiety. God wants to give us peace. He wants us to learn how to rest in all situations knowing that he sees us, he sees our needs, our pain, and our struggles. He wants us to trust that at the right time he will step in to “work all things together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
When we learn how to trust in the Lord, and invite him into our story, he does show up. He provides at the last moment, or reveals the next step in our life journey. All we have to do is learn how to rest, and let go. But that is easier said than done.
I sometimes envision myself like a person, in the middle of a dark raging sea, flailing my arms around, grasping for anything to hold onto, but getting nothing. I use so much energy with my thrashing that I get exhausted and start to go under. Meanwhile one small floating device is there within my reach, yet I refuse to grasp it. I don’t want that small floating device because I don’t trust it, I want something that feels more secure. If I would just take hold of that floating device, I could float to safety.
I don’t know why I refuse to take hold of the floating device, which is in reality a metaphor for the trust in God. Perhaps it feels safer to thrash around, to worry, and toil. Worry is doing something, floating (being still and waiting on God) feels like it is doing nothing.
Are you there with me? I know that these are scary times for some of us. The financial implications for what this country is going through will be monstrous. For some people staying at home makes it harder to outrun worries they were able stay one step ahead of before. For others the fear of getting ill is what is scary, after all if you are high risk, it is your life that is at stake. Whatever it is that may be heavy on your mind, I would like to encourage you to invite God into your worries. You see, God’s promises are conditional. He promises that when we seek him we will find him (Jeremiah 29:13). He also says that if we trust in him with all of our hearts, leaning not on our understanding, but rather acknowledge him, he will direct our steps in life (Prov. 3:5-6).
I am one of many who has tested this out and seen how true it is. If you have not yet asked God to come into your situation, I would encourage you to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). On the other side of that, I am one who has tasted and know the Lord is good and faithful, yet I am full of worry more often that not. If you are like me, I encourage you to keep pressing into that trust, he will show himself faithful yet again, wait and see. If you get too tired with your “thrashing around”, I encourage you to find support with other believers. Olive Chapel is not meeting during these times, but we do check the answering machine. If you cannot find support any other way, feel free to give us a call and leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as we can. 574-654-3615