I live in a constant state of fear. I am an overly anxious person. I like to tell myself that that’s just how I am and it’s ok, but I know it’s not. God tells us not to fear and not to worry, however I’m sure that at some point all of us have been afraid. All of us have been anxious. All of us worry.
I have this devotional app, and yesterday I opened it for the first time in a while and was shocked by the connection I had to a particular devotion. It was titled “Where I’m From” and it was all about anxiety. Some particular quotes stood out to me, and I really wanted to expand on them:
-“I crave anxiety because with her, I feel alive.”
At first when I read that phrase, “I crave anxiety”, I was conflicted. I don’t want to be anxious. I’m well aware that as a Christian I should go to God with my worries
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 4:8
but I don’t always do that. In a way I do crave anxiety. Why?
-“She keeps me running and chasing for meaning and purpose.”
Anxiety can fool you in the moment. It can seem like a good thing. It might seem like you’re just concerned about meeting your goals or finding your purpose. It doesn’t always seem like pointless worrying.
I don’t like to admit when I’m anxious. I confuse anxiety with caution and motivation. I claim that my fears are reasonable, and sometimes they are. More often than not, I create them. I have created a fear of going to places by myself, I have created a fear of talking to classmates, I have created a fear of annoying everyone. I have created a fear of life. These fears aren’t realistic, these fears aren’t productive, and these fears aren’t reasonable.
I try to place blame on other things to lessen the ridiculousness of my anxiety. A lot of us like to put the blame on something other than ourselves. My favorite excuse is: “It’s just this place.” I have plenty of variations of that statement that I use to “explain” why I’m so anxious. For my hometown it’s “I know too many people here.”. When I was living in Texas last year it was “I don’t know enough people here.”
-“You need to get out. …And somehow, no matter where I move or what job I have, I still need to get out.”
Even earlier today I was thinking that things will somehow be better once I get out of this town again. Then I stopped myself, realizing that the problem isn’t the place. I always seem content in a new place for a while, and then I always find something to complain about and I feel like I need to “get out”. I don’t feel like I can succeed there, so I want to go someplace where I think I can. I shouldn’t be seeking an earthly place though, I should be seeking a heavenly one.
“Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:16
-“Without God, life is only what I make of it.”
That statement filled me with dread. Without God- who gave us life and guides us through it- what can we do? We’re completely hopeless.
“Not that we are competent in ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5
“He is before all things and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7
-“My hope and ambitions are outlined by what I can do on Earth.”
God’s plan doesn’t always line up with our ideas. He takes us to places we never would’ve expected. God is certainly not predictable, so why am I afraid about not meeting my goals? If I seek God plan for my life, I know He’ll work through me. It’s God’s plan, not our own, that we need to focus on.
“However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9
“God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:40
-“If I don’t harness these anxieties- if I let them rule my emotions, my energy, my care- then I show myself to be fighting against God. …The God who saved me from an otherwise drifting existence and gave it meaning.”
God can do infinitely more than we can. So when I fail to go to God with my worries, I’m fighting against him. Working with him would be following what I know he wants me to do. I’m not just hurting myself, I’m hurting what could’ve been accomplished while I was busy worrying. God will work, I just need to trust Him.
“By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.” 1 Corinthians 6:14
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10