Anxiety creeps up on us unawares. It infiltrates our thoughts. How do we know when it’s arrived? Because it can be so subtle. We might not even realise that we are feeling anxious.
It starts as a small distraction. Maybe you’ve watched the news and you are finding that you are dwelling a little longer on thoughts you might otherwise have dismissed.
We are in unprecedented times. We don’t know what is going to happen next. Fear has raised its ugly head. People are scared. Will they catch the virus? What is going to happen to the economy? Will life ever be the same?
We can allow our thoughts to wander off. To dig deeper into a pit of worry. To linger on the news that we’ve just heard about someone who has died, someone just like you or me.
It is subtle at first. A news alert pops up on our phone. We read it and then scroll to the next one and the next one and the next one. And before we know it we’re feeling anxious. Scared that the world will change beyond recognition.
The truth is we are in unprecedented times. Every minute, every hour, every day is unprecedented because we haven’t yet lived it. John F. Kennedy said “the only certainty is that there is no certainty.” We don’t know what’s round the corner. And we never have. We may think we are making plans. We’ve applied to university, we’ve started a new job, we’re getting married. But none of us actually know these things are definitely going to happen.
Eighteen years ago my baby son Lucas died of a virus. When he was born we were so full of joy and hope and excited about what the future would hold for him. When he died a month later it felt like our hopes and dreams were crushed.
But now looking back I can see that in our lives we have different seasons. The time after his death was like winter. It was cold and dark. During that time of grief we learnt that in the darkness the light shines bright. Even though we wouldn’t see Lucas go to school or university. We wouldn’t see him get married. But we knew for certain that we’d see him again. He was with Jesus. He is with Jesus. Death does not separate us. It’s only a temporary parting. We’re eternal. We’re spirit.
God brought us through that time. He healed our wounds and strengthened us.
And now as we face uncertainty let me reassure you that these unchartered territories aren’t unchartered for God. Just as he brought the Israelites out of captivity, out of slavery, he provided them with manna when they had no food. He will do it again. Our job is to trust. To have faith.
Instead of listening to the news, pick up your bible. Read about Deborah or Ruth or Mary. These hero’s of the faith who, faced with disaster, stood firm and were obedient and followed God’s instruction. And that’s the point. That’s the essence of our faith. God will direct your path. He will part the Red Sea. He will deliver you from your enemies. He will set you up on solid ground. He is the rock, the cornerstone. The Alpha and Omega. He will. He did it then and he will do it again. That is his promise. And he doesn’t break his promises.
So let’s get on our knees and surrender our fears, our worries, our hopes and our dreams to him. Let’s fill our heads with stories of faith. Let’s dance around our rooms in worship. Let’s give him our coming and our going. And tomorrrow when you wake know that the maker of the moon is with you. Even if you go through difficult times, he won’t allow your foot to slip. He won’t allow you to fall if your eyes are fixed on him. Give him your focus. Give him your time. And joy will be his gift to you. Through and through.
If you are feeling anxious, Jane has written a small book “be free from anxiety” over in the books section. Click here to buy. If you’d like to order a copy.