Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Fear Antidote
So having said all that, what am I going to write about tonight? Well I have been struggling of late with anxiety. I'll get thinking about some project or some impending difficulty and the surge of anxiety is intolerable. It usually happens at night; even sometimes waking me up from a sound sleep--I will think about the dead trees outside, ready to fall on our house. I will think about the mess in my daughter's room and how it must be gutted and redone before we can even consider selling the house--and about my complete inability to do this. I will think about my continuing and worsening disability and worry about what is coming next.
I had this same exact problem some --well, 15 years ago to an even worse degree than I have it now. Then it would be a nightly routine: lay in bed, panic to the point of not being able to breathe, and ultimately I would be propelled from my bed to go and spread my fears to my husband as I looked for reassurance. Back then I read everything I could get my hands on, on fear, worry, and anxiety as it relates to the Christian experience. But nothing helped. Then finally, one day, I hit on a key. I decided to make a list of past problems--some small; some huge and overwhelming--and the manners in which God had resolved them. You know what I found? I found that every single problem had been resolved; not one of them was still hanging around to bother me.....and I found that God was the source of my help; that he moved and responded in sometimes downright miraculous ways. HUGE ways. IMMENSE ways.
And it seemed (rightly) to me, that --if he had met my needs back then, then surely he would meet my needs now and my needs that would erupt into my future....And worry took a back seat and never again raised its ugly head....even when I was faced with fearsome health problems or financial ones I was in a rock solid position of trust. MY GOD WOULD SUPPLY ALL MY NEEDS ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS. ( Philippians 4:19) I trusted that. I was firmly convinced of that. And fear had no place in me.
So the other night, I began a new list....and I came up with something like 20 major problems that God had moved in astounding ways to resolve or provide for. And once again, my heart began to calm. I'm not completely over my worry....I still have panicked thoughts....and I have to go back to my list and read it over and over. But I know that as my God continues to reassure my fearful heart; and as he continues to meet our needs---my heart will calm down and will once more move to a stance of rock solid trust.
Why did this worry return?
I'm not sure. Maybe Satan thought he would try an old tactic to see if my defense still held. Or maybe my heart has slipped to a position of unfamiliarity with my God. Perhaps his faithfulness has become questionable in my mind because I have not been focusing on it and thanking him for it. Perhaps I've been collecting his provision in my pockets, like a child picking up nuts from under a tree, but haven't stopped to examine, crack open and bite into those nuts....and thus have forgotten how good they are.
All I know is that I am thankful that I know my Lord. I am thankful that I know the solution to my fear. I am thankful that God does not change. The needs may change---but his incredible supply of strength, wealth and loving concern to deal with them does NOT change. I just need to dive deep from this cliff, deep into his depths of love and mercy and into the riches of his glory that I have in Christ Jesus.