It starts out with a trickle. The water seeps through a crack, and you ignore it, because it seems small and insignificant. “I’ll deal with it later”, you tell yourself, as you go about your day again. But what starts out as a trickle will eventually begin to rush in faster, the cracks getting bigger each time you ignore it. The water rises, first around your feet, and then up to your waist, until you can no longer feel the floor. You feel yourself treading water, with nothing else to hold on to. You tread and fight to keep your head above water, kicking and thrashing until your limbs grow so weary; you don’t know how much longer you can hold yourself up. Each time you surface to take a breath, you look around you and see that help is nowhere in sight.
This is what anxiety can feel like sometimes. It always seems so small at first, a little voice in the back of your head. However, when unchecked that little voice gets bigger, and it finds more ammo to use against you, until it’s all you can hear. Don’t let fear and worry steer your ship. Go back to your map, and let these Bible verses about anxiety remind you that your help comes from God.
Keep Calm and Pray Out Loud
The biggest threat to a drowning person is panic. You breathe water in, you’re fighting the waves, and you get tired faster. Whatever is causing you great worry or anxiety, you must remain calm. How do you do that? Find a quiet spot where you can come before God with all of your feelings and lay it down at the foot of the cross. And then read His word, and hold on to His promises of help, peace, and guidance. Don’t be afraid to tell God what you are worried about, and then faithfully wait on Him.
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Be Confident In Jesus
Prayer is not the last action you take; you must also be confident in the power that God has given you to overcome. When you stop thrashing about and calmly feel the water around you, you will begin to know which way is up. As you break the surface, you will see where the shore is, and you can begin to walk towards it. When your confidence is in Jesus Christ, you know that you are standing on solid rock, which will never wear away or be broken.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Take hold of what God has given you
Your emotions will tell you otherwise, but in Christ, you are an overcomer. He has given you His peace that passes all understanding. He has given you His Spirit to lead you and be our guide as we tread life’s uncertainties. When your circumstances are telling you that everything is falling apart, hold fast to the truth that God is with you and has given you everything you need for a godly life.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Remember that God cares for you
Jesus took care of our greatest need of salvation when He died on the cross for us. He showed us that He is our Good Shepherd. He goes before us, he binds our wounds, he provides for us and leads us to green pasture. He is worthy of our trust. Because of His ultimate sacrifice on the cross, we can rest in Him knowing that we are in the care of the One who loves us most.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
1 Peter 5:6-7
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, 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. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.
Take heart, dear friend, and remember that the peace of God is a gift that is readily available for those who seek it. He is the breath that your tired lungs seek when you feel like you are drowning. He is your solid ground and your steadfast help in times of need. Let this truth soothe your anxious soul- God is in control.