A colleague asked if I could pray for her this afternoon. She was struggling with a number of concerns and her anxieties were already piling up. My heart ached because I knew that battling with anxieties isn’t an easy thing to do. In fact, in the recent days, I’ve had my own share too! Sometimes, I wish that there was an off button for worries and anxieties in life. Can’t I just erase them from my mind the moment I have them?
Two days ago, I struggled with it so much that I spent the whole day at work going through my tasks with a blank look on my face. It was as if my default mode was set to being melancholic. I was filling my mind with so many “What If’s” and this hindered me from intentionally laying my concerns before the Lord. Instead of having faith, I was nurturing fear in my heart. Instead of trusting in God’s sovereignty and love for me, I was trying to solve things on my own wisdom and strength.
That night, as I drove home, I took a deep sigh at the sight of the heavy traffic ahead of me. I only had two choices: 1) Spend the next hour grumbling on the road, or 2) Seek the Lord and listen to His Word. By God’s grace, I did the second option and I chose to listen to one of Chip Ingram’s podcasts about what to do when we are overwhelmed with anxiety. Yes, I specifically chose this topic. The main passage that Chip dwelt on was Philippians 4:6-7, which says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
My heart was crushed while I was listening to Chip Ingram’s podcast. Even if I’ve already read these verses a lot of times before, I was still moved by how intentional and gracious the Lord is with us. He knew that we would struggle with anxiety waaaay before we did and His sovereign hand has been guiding us all along through His Word. I was encouraged to develop a lifestyle of praying Biblically and specifically, more so when I encounter anxieties and worries.
Instead of just whining about my concerns and telling them to the Lord, I am reminded to remember who He is in my life. This is because my view of God will affect how I think, feel, and respond to different situations. It will also affect the way I seek Him and pray to Him. Here are some of the characteristics of God that I am encouraged to think about tonight:
“God is greater than all of my fears combined.
God is in control and is always on time.
God deeply cares for you and me.
God is faithful and He will continue to be.
God is merciful over and over again.
God is able to do more than we can imagine.
God desires that we grow in Christlikeness
God loves us — no more, no less.”
In relation to knowing who He is in our lives, I would like to share this song that I discovered on Spotify a few weeks ago. It is called “I Am” by Influence Music. I pray that it would strengthen our hearts as we seek the Lord and His Word even as we deal with anxieties.