Work was very slow yesterday. But it gave me some time to think about my disobedience, which really isn’t that fun to think about. This is about as far as I got before I decided to do my actual job, but I did discover what I think may be a big part of my reluctance to follow God. Pardon the 12-year-old boy’s handwriting on the receipt paper, it really is my original work, I promise!Luke 12:22-31 22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
I don’t know why, but I struggle with anxiety. It really takes nothing to send me into full fledge panic mode. My head hurts; brain tumor. Scratched by an animal; rabies. Two cups of coffee in the morning; heart might explode. Gossip Girl is over; assume the fetal position! Do you see where I’m going with this? It doesn’t take much to make a hypochondriac know without a doubt that they have some sort of illness, one of my many desirable traits (wife dis gurl). But at the same time, I’m too scared to go to a doctor. They make me anxious. Now that, my friends, is a never ending cycle. But it isn’t just with being sick, I get anxious about everything. There are things that normal people get anxious about, like the first day of work/school, going on a first date, etc. How about walking into the school cafeteria by yourself? Eating things with melted cheese in them (had a bad experience once), or just letting my mind wander in general? If I sit alone long enough, I can come up with every possible way that a situation could go horribly wrong. Can you imagine the stress that puts me under? So what if that 18-wheeler I’m driving by probably won’t pop a tire and the contents probably won’t spill out in front my car and I probably won’t have to swerve out of the way and probably wouldn’t drive right into that lake on the side of the highway where I probably wouldn’t get eaten by some kind of lake monster…but that’s what my mind does.
Because I don’t trust God. At all. The passage in Luke describes this anxiety as a lack of faith. This could possibly send me on a mental rollercoaster, “why do I have anxiety? Am I not a Christian? Am I going to Hell? I’m going to Hell, aren’t I? God, why are you sending me to Hell? This isn’t fair. My life sucks!” This, my friends, is disobedience. Look at what God is promising in these verses. He takes care of ravens and freaking flowers. It probably took half a second for God to create a lily. But he knit us together, he created us in his image; he took time to make us. We are more valuable than the birds. He’s going to provide for his children, what loving parent wouldn’t? There’s no need to worry. He’s got it together where I am falling apart.
I am reminded of Jeremiah 2:13, which says:
For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Oh look, God is a fountain. Of water. Living water. How can I drink from this fountain of living water when I am too busy drinking from the nasty cistern of anxiety? What does anxiety taste like, you ask? I don’t know, that’s a stupid question. But really, why would I waste time trying to fill up a muddy jar to drink something that makes me miserable and have stomach pain?! Living water sounds delicious, get me a glass of that! I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can’t live with this anxiety as something that controls me AND claim that God has control over me as well. I have to choose an identity, and I think I’d rather play in the fountain of living water than sit in a mud puddle.
Steps for recovery from my anxiety addiction:
1) pray for faith so that I can give God control over stressful situations.
2) pray when I am anxious so that I can remind myself He is in control, not me.
3) prioritize. Focus on God to have perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3) because he gives no reason for anxiety. Quit focusing on the world, hello!