Saturday, June 22, 2019

Anxiety in the Deep

Psalm 94:19
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I stood in the shallow water, turned and plopped my bottom into the kayak. As I paddled across the lake to the deep, I found my bearings and relaxed. Until a twinge of doubt struck me. A bit of fear crept in, then anxiety tried to shake me up. What if I fell into the water? I tightened my life jacket, pulled the oar through the water, practiced the guiding technique Tim showed me and paddled deeper.

I pushed the anxiety aside. If I didn't, I'd be miserable and unable to enjoy the trip. I closed my eyes and listened to the soft sound of the water lapping against the kayak. The birds chirped, children's laughter wafted through the air. Peace settled over me. We floated for a while on the water, then paddled in against the mild waves.

Anxiety has dogged me for as long as I can remember. Several years ago a doctor diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder. Since then my brain has required meds to help the chemical imbalance that exacerbates the anxiety. Yet, I still feel anxious at times.

In an anxious moment, I pray. God has peace to pour into me. But I need to turn my fears and anxiety over and allow the Holy Spirit to work in me. In a practical sense, I have to force myself to stop and breath. Pray and believe. When I closed my eyes on the lake, my heart slowed, and I relaxed. I knew my fear was imagined. I had nothing to worry about.

So often in life, anxiety rears its ugly head. Fear overwhelms. Satan uses our weaknesses to scare us. But, my God is bigger than any anxious doubt or made up fear. He wants us to give our doubts to him. He loves us and wants to replace our anxiety with joy and peace.


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