It feels like I am falling...never to return. Into a pit I have traveled to one too many times. A pit that I prefer not to return to. It is that feeling in the gut that knots me up inside. The jittery sensation that comes over my body. Anxiety. Not my friend. My foe. My sworn enemy.
Slowly, I am learning. Not all enemies are what they appear. Not all enemies are totally evil. Because in the midst of the anxiety there are blessings...
You see, anxiety is a hard slave master. One who drives its victim. I have learned though, it can drive you to only two places...into the arms of God or deeper into the pit. Coming to terms with it means realizing that I can use my anxiety for my benefit. Sure, God says that anxiety is a sin. He also says over 300 times in the Bible, "Do Not Fear."
But He also says, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." --Psalms 56:3
Not "if" I am afraid...He knows the fear will come. What I do with the fear is key. Do I lean into Him more? Or do I run from Him by worrying how I am going to solve an issue that I can't even control knowing full well I am running from the One who controls all? Anxiety can breed trust...if I let it.
Little by little, I am learning to use my anxiety for my benefit...a running towards God. A leaning into His love. An abiding in His plan.
Do you struggle with anxiety? Here are a few resources I have found helpful...
10 Things You've Got to Know About Fear
Running Scared: Fear, Worry & the God of Rest
The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good?
Three Gospels for Anxiety