My family loves being out on the lake in the summertime. We have a small boat that gets loaded to the legal limit and off we go! Often, we’re pulling people on a tube behind the boat. There are lots of quick turns, 360’s and bumps for the enjoyment of the tube riders as well as observers.
Everyone calls me the “boat balancer”. I become anxious if it feels like we’re leaning a little too much to one side or the other. I quickly size up those on the boat and ask people to switch seats if needed to better balance the weight between sides. (Like 50 pounds difference would keep the boat from tipping over—ha!)
My anxiety comes from fear that the boat might capsize and…who knows what could happen. It’s an irrational fear. But in the moment it feels like something really bad could happen, and I feel that it’s my responsibility to protect everyone (what would they do without me??). Is there really anything I can do to keep the boat from flipping over? Not likely.
We all experience anxiety. For some, it is a thought that briefly passes through our mind and is gone. For others, it can be an almost debilitating emotion. No matter where you fall on the anxiety spectrum, there are things you can do to minimize or even dispel the anxiety.
Secular therapists say to slow your breathing, distract yourself, or paint a more positive picture in your mind. Those are all good suggestions. But as Christians, we have a powerful weapon against anxiety. It’s our relationship with God.
What do we need to remember when anxiety grips us:
God is in Control
Realize we are not in charge but God is, and He wants what is best for all of his children. Nothing can happen that God won’t work out for our good.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
God can be trusted
We can let go of the fear that is the cause of the anxiety. Release the responsibility for the care of those we love to God.
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? Psalms 56:3-4
God is faithful
Remember the times God has been faithful to keep us safe in the past. This will reinforce our faith for the future.
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1
God is our protector
Seek safety in the arms of our Savior through prayer.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1 NLT
God is our source of peace
When we hand over to Him what we are anxious about, He replaces it with His peace.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
God is with us
He promises never to leave us alone. Whatever we are dealing with, He’s right there in the trenches with us.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
The next time you feel anxious, remember these 6 truths. If you struggle with anxiety often, memorize the scripture that goes with each truth. Pray that God will bring these verses to your mind when you need them.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. Psalms 121:7-8