Anxiety is a part of the human condition.
So what is the response to this primary human response and emotion?
We’re all human. We all have fears and concerns down the road. I think that’s part of the human condition, to be honest. We want to know what is coming down. One reason could be to avoid the impending danger that we see. Or maybe it’s so we don’t get hurt by a sudden and painful surprise.
To know is to be secured in something, right?
The Rocking of the Boat
I am often reminded of the story of when the Apostles were on a boat. Picture, it’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining, a crisp, refreshing breeze on a hot day, a day of relaxation. Made all the better that Jesus, the Son of God, is there, sleeping peacefully.
Our lives are often that boat. Jesus, residing in our heart, resting peacefully, we are at peace with him. We think.
We believe nothing could go wrong.
Then clouds darken suddenly, strong winds raise the waves as thunder, rain, and lightning descend upon our little boat. Any moment a wave could coming crashing, sink the ship, and we could drown! What are we to do?
Drown, as in physically die, maybe drown in depression, in vice, in despair. And we know not what to do! Our hearts are so troubled as we feel we are about to die. The conclusion is inevitable!
Our eyes wander to the front of the boat to see the Lord, sleeping peacefully, undisturbed by the buffeting of the waves. We cry out to the Lord, “Why do you sleep, my Lord! Do you not care that we are dying!”
How often do we feel like that is the case? That we pray and pray, we feel like our lives is only crashing and burning, yet nothing is done. Our anxiety turns from a pepple to an asteroid that is coming crashing down on us.
Yet the Lord sleeps
The Response to Anxiety
If we continue with our story. Jesus stands up, unsurprised, turns to face the wind, raises, his hand and calmly says, “Be still.”
And just like that, as if a light was switched on, the sun comes out, the clouds fall away, the waves and wind settle. He turns to face us, and with an almost disappointed look in his eyes, he says, “Why did you doubt?”
How do you feel when your best friend doubted you and sincerity. I know for me, it stings quite a bit when a friend doesn’t trust me. How do we feel when we doubted our friends and they came through, ashamed?
It’s easy to give in to despair, oh so easy to feel like we are perishing. Thus we call out to the Lord and say, “save us!”
But I think our response to anxiety should be something else entirely. Instead of crying out to the Lord, we should lean over to the Lord and whisper, “Lord, I am terrified. I know not what is going on, and my soul troubles me greatly with much anxiety and fear. However, you are the captain of the ship, and You know what is best. Therefore, I will do my best not to disturb your rest.”
How infinitely greater it is to the Lord that we live in the current moment, not being condemned for our past or stressed by the future. We are to do our best minute by minute—nothing more, nothing less.
So I will encourage you all, inhale sharply, whatever troubles are happening, that you will overcome this if you have trust in the Lord. Trust destroys anxiety. Trust is the antidote to the poison of Anxiety.
Will we ever be free from anxiety?
To be honest, probably not.
But whenever you feel that anxiety bug crawling,
I urge you to pray, “Lord, I trust you, help me to trust you more!”