I’m guessing most people are feeling a little anxiety these days. Maybe it’s because of the plunge in the stock market, the interruption of routine, or the uncertainty of the future. Regardless of the source, we all experience it at some point. It didn’t take the threat, and now the existence, of COVID-19 in our community to cause me anxiety. Anxiety is a daily battle for me.
I remember a time when I didn’t live with anxiety. It was a time when I didn’t feel like I needed to control much. It was a carefree, living-in-the-moment-type of lifestyle. It was anxiety-free, but it wasn’t sustainable.
Then came responsibilities and the reality of mortality. That threw me into a tailspin. Being married, having children, and working outside of the home created demands that required my independent nature to be tamed.
It was at that point in my life that I cried out, like never before, to God. Why am I experiencing these feelings of anxiety? It took years of desperately seeking the answer, but in His pursuit of me, Jesus captured my heart.
Remember what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12? He talks about a thorn in his side. He, too, cried out for the pain to be taken away. Yet in the very same verse, he says he will “rather boast” in his weakness, so that the “power of Christ may dwell” in him.
Just a couple of months ago, I was feeling the walls of anxiety closing in on me. Although I recognize the symptoms much sooner these days, I am still vulnerable to the enemy creeping into the tiniest of cracks and messing with my soul. I did what I have learned over the years to calm these attacks – I worshipped, I prayed, and I asked the Lord what he wanted me to hear. Not surprisingly, He led me to Hebrews 4:15-16.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”
The thorn of anxiety lives in me so I can constantly and confidently live in the grace of God because of Christ’s perfect life given for me. Jesus walked this earth and experienced the same type of things I face today. He knows of my anxiety and other struggles and feels them with me. He chooses to do that – wow. What a friend.
I’m overwhelmed that the King of Kings chooses to go into the valleys with me, and I would rather boast in my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. I choose to walk with Him too - who could resist such a friend?