Just the other day, a friend asked me what causes me to have anxiety. After years of struggling with anxiety, it was a question I have answered a million times, but never actually answered with the issue behind it.
For me, my anxiety creeps up when a situation arises and I have no outcomes at play. Scenarios and the “What if’s” circle around in my head without slowing down and cause me to panic. The answer to what causes my anxiety is that I am not in control of my life or what happens within it and I struggle with that.
You know what is amazing though? God wants to hear all about the worry we are going through. He welcomes us to come before Him, to be raw and real and just give it all over so that He can carry the weight and we can just follow after Him in faith and surrender. The entire reason He wants to carry the weight of this world for you is because He is for you and cares for you. I can victoriously say that, as I have learned to surrender the fear of the “What ifs” and hand over the answers to the questions, I have been able to learn more of who Jesus is.
Peter reminds us that Jesus is there and cares, ready to take on what our heart is hurting from, and Paul challenges us to change our perspective as we take it to Jesus.
For the longest time in my life as a Jesus follower, I always thought that verses, like above, meant I was not supposed to have thoughts of fear and anxiety and that, if I had even one anxiety attack, I was not surrendering my life to Him. However, after many years of studying God’s word and getting to know the character of Christ, I can confidently say He doesn’t tell me to be perfect and stop having anxiety, He just tells me that, WHEN I experience anxiety, to bring it to Him time and time again. It’s in those times that He works miraculously in my mind and heart. We live in a broken world, operating in redemption and the Lord knows of our struggles and shows us a way out of our anxiety to give us joy.
Joy can be described as “The resolute assurance that God not only knows about my problems, but He cares about them.”
So here we are: Peter reminding us of Christ’s care for us and that He wants us to come to Him raw and real and lay it all out, no matter the messiness it might be, but it doesn’t stop there. He then challenges us through Paul to the church of Philippi, that we are to “go before the Lord with thanksgiving”. That no matter what we go through, we approach our anxiety with “the holy but”’.
We may worry BUT God has us. We may struggle BUT God is there!
As you go before the Lord, surrendering the anxiety, the unanswered questions, the “What if” scenarios; remember WHO He is. Remember HIS Truth; this will make it easier to surrender all that is weighing you down.