Anxiety can take over when you least expect it.
A few years ago, I crossed a very high and long cantilever bridge. I freaked out. The anxiety came out of the blue, and in no time, my breathing picked up, and my body shook. I’d never felt that way before. I’ve crossed other bridges, causeways, underwater tunnels and been fine. My friend, who was driving (thankfully), had to speak calming words to me and remind me I’d be okay.
I’ve been fearful before and worried about stuff. I’ve even experienced anxiety anticipating a doctor’s visit or giving a speech. But it’s never hit me out of the blue like that to where my brain couldn’t calm the rest of me down.
The non-flashy definition of anxiety is worrying about an inevitable future event or fearing an uncertain outcome of a specific action.
That doesn’t seem too unreasonable. It’s kind of normal to be anxious about surgery, a test, or even good things like proposals and new jobs. But if our anxiety monopolizes our thoughts and wreaks havoc on our bodies, then it’s gone too far.
The weird thing about anxiety is that your body kind of starts working against you. Logic doesn’t work. Facts mean nothing. The anxious feelings are just there, and making them go away is no easy feat.
Some forms of anxiety can become serious medical issues. It’s nothing to sneeze at.
God addresses our anxious thoughts. He knows and understands. Life is hard. Scary stuff comes at us from all directions. We cross big bridges and tremble, but we’re not alone.
We have a hope in a living God who tells us to ask him for help and promises a peace that will pass understanding. A peace that, like our shaking fears and panicked hearts, will wash over us and calm us, and it won’t make sense how it happens.
God also says one way to fight fear is to turn our minds to better things. To focus on good rather than the thing we can’t control. The Bible offers us many wonderful truths we can dwell on during our scary times.
It’s not easy, and the peace is not always immediate, but it is promised. And God keeps His promises.
I recently crossed that same bridge again. It didn’t freak me out like before, although I did close my eyes for part of it. Still, I could tell whatever it was inside me that caused the anxiety before is no longer as strong as it once was. I am stronger, but maybe it’s not really me, but what God is working out in me.
His love for us is deep and personal and speaks to our fears. He doesn’t make us face them alone. All we need to do is run to him. He helps us when anxiety strikes.
If you are struggling with anxious thoughts today, read over these verses and be encouraged. Peace awaits you as you trust God Almighty.
“I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
Psalms 61:1 – 61:3
“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.”
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
Psalms 31:10, 15
“For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.”
Psalms 56:3 – 56:4
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
Psalms 91:14 – 91:15
“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”
Psalms 121:1 – 121:2
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”
Psalms 107:13 – 107:15
“Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
Psalms 40:1 – 40:3
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”
Psalms 62:5 – 62:8
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
Psalms 116:6 – 116:7
“The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.”
Psalms 121:7 – 121:8
“The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
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