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The Lies of Anxiety and Peace from God

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I will never forget my first day of school going to kindergarten. I specifically remember being nervous about school. I didn’t know what to expect and there was so much uncertainty. What would the day look like? Who would be there? Would I know anyone? Would the teacher be nice? What if I didn’t like it? What if I did the wrong thing and everyone made fun of me? What if I said the wrong thing and offended the wrong person and it cost me a job interview later in life? You know, all the emotions that you get when you are stepping into something new.

With all of this anxiety swirling, I threw one of those tantrums that five year olds like to throw as soon as we arrived at the bus stop. I was screaming, whining, kicking, spitting and foam was probably coming out of my mouth. Was I upset about the fact that I was going to school? Not anymore. In fact, all of my previous worries paled in comparison to what I found at the bus stop: a girl. I was afraid of this girl. I didn’t know her, but I knew that she wasn’t a boy. So I panicked and begged not to have to get on the school bus with her.

My mother relented and she took me across the street, away from the girl, where we waited for the bus. It wasn’t comfortable, but it was a safe distance for me.

The first day of kindergarten was just too much for me. There was just too much uncertainty and I couldn’t handle it. So I panicked.

Does this ever happen to you?
Does life ever bring things your way that just seem like too much?

It seems to me that, the older I get, the uncertainty around life just seems to grow. As a five year old, I was worried about girls and kindergarten. As an 39 year old man, I’m worried about whether or not I’m ruining my kids. I’ve discovered that marriage isn’t easy and I don’t have it all together. I get anxious about my job performance. I still wonder if so and so likes me or not and I find myself stewing over something that was said by someone and hope and pray that others don’t feel the same way.

What I’ve discovered is that, when the pressure of life has become too much, I begin to believe things that aren’t true. I remember an occasion a few years ago when I was experiencing some serious conflict and I convinced myself that I was going to lose my job, that Harper was going to leave me, and that I would be homeless within 6 months. I believed all of these things as though they were true even though none of it was even close to true. Anxiety had gotten the best of me.

As I’ve struggled with anxiety and the lies that anxious thoughts tell me, I’ve also learned how important truth from God is for my soul. The truth is that God knows all the troubles we are all in. He knows that we get anxious and He knows that anxiety can tell us lies about ourselves, others and God. So His Word is filled with many good, useful and true things that help us in our struggle with anxiety.

What is most comforting during times of anxiety and uncertainty are the wonderful promises that God is our rescuer.

Look at a wonderful promise in the New Testament:
[6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)

That is a wonderful promise. God actually commands us to not be anxious. He wants us to make our needs known to Him. And when we do this, He gives us peace. And this should bring us great assurance when we are facing uncertainty. We can have peace, but we have to get to a place where we only trust God and nothing else. I’m learning this and I’ve been slow to learn. I’m so thankful that He’s patient with me, but I hope and pray to outgrow my anxiety.

2 Comments

Thanks for sharing your story.

Thank you for sharing and encouraging us with God's Word! Anxiety is a familiar friend of mine as well.

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