I am having some problems getting going this morning. I went to bed earlier than I usually do because I was not feeling well. I slept for about 2 hours then woke up sicker than a dog. Now bear with me a moment, I am going somewhere with this. Ever since I was a small child I have had a phobia of vomiting. I actually go into panic mode. Last night was no different. I never actually got that sick, but the fear of that point made me sicker than I probably would have been. I had the whole nine yards last night; the racing heart, shaking, and overwhelming fear. I am sure this sounds foolish to some, but it is very real to me.
The dictionary defines anxiety as a noun that means: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Yep, I could have the poster child last night.
There was a time when anxiety absolutely ruled my life. My best friend was a little white pill the doctor prescribed me when my father started suffering the effects of cancer 13 years ago. I had been trying to deal with anxiety on my own for years before that, but now I had a doctor to acknowledge my fear and offer a miracle in a pill. And, I had a phobia for just about every occasion. I could not travel from here to the mall without taking a pill first. I could not sit in a crowd of people without taking a pill first. Sometimes even being in a grocery store would send me reeling. It was limiting my life, placing a strain on my marriage, and my ability to be a good mother. I was not addicted to the pills, but I did heavily depend on them. What's the difference? Another doctor told me that being addicted meant that I would be capable of pulling a gun on the pharmacist to get the pills; dependent meant that I felt like in my own mind that I could not function without them.
This world that we have to live in is a crazy, stressful place. Everything seems to be circling the toilet, bowl ready to go down the tubes. But, as children of God there is still hope and peace to be had. The Bible tells us how to avoid being overwhelmed by circumstances that we cannot control.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
That's it? How can that little phrase take the burdens of my life off my shoulders? To the child of God prayer is everything. Prayer takes the focus off the problem and puts it on praising God. Just the very act of bowing the head, closing the eyes, or just mentally crying out to God brings Him glory. These simple acts acknowledge Him as God and us as dependent upon Him.
The reason I was so anxious when my dad became ill was because I was so dependent upon him. To me, my dad was 10 foot tall and bullet proof. To see him in that weakened state was more than I could take. He had been there all my life providing stability. When he died, something in me said that was the end; how was I going to face life now?
I was a Christian at the time, but not a practicing one. I knew there was a God, but I didn't really NEED Him then. It wasn't until I understood just how much I needed Him that I knew what peace and comfort could be found in Him.
After spending another anxiety filled day, I was reading the Bible in my bed. I had read the story of David and Goliath. David was so small and Goliath seemed so large and overpowering. No one believed David could do anything against such a giant; and they were right. On his own he could have done nothing, but he had the power of God behind him. These are the verses that convinced me that my God is bigger than any giant: 1 Samuel 17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? I am in the army of the Living God too! What is this anxiety and fear that has taken hold on my life? Is my God not capable of defeating the demons of my own mind? But it was David's stance in the face of the Philistine that made me see that my God can do anything. 41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Isn't this the voice of all our enemies? Who are you to think you can do anything? is their taunt. Satan wants to keep us down, in fear, and dependent on anything but God.
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands. David had tried the armor of King Saul, but it did not fit. The only protection that he had was the knowledge that his God is the Living God. God does not need anything to defeat the Goliaths of the world. He spoke this world into existence and by His Word it will all end one day. What more could I possibly need to defeat the enemy of my own mind? That night I held that little miracle pill in my hand and verbally asked it, Who are you to defy the Living God? His Word tells me that I am His child and that I have nothing to fear in this world. That was the last of my miracle pills, my cream for my rosacea, and my beta blocker. Am I telling you to throw all your pills away cold turkey? No, I am not. But I am telling you that God is all that we need. Anxiety has no place in the child of God's heart or head. This is my pep talk to myself. Last night proved I have a way to go yet, and with God's help and His Word I will overcome this too.
Peter had the best advice on how to defeat anxiety: 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.