When Anxiety Comes Knocking.

When anxiety and despair come knocking what do you do?

I have never really struggled with anxiety to the extent I'm sure some of you have, but within the last year the Lord has been revealing to me how much I depend on controlling certain areas of my life for my sense of security. With my parents moving to Mexico for missions, raising young children; which is the most faith testing experience I have ever gone/am going through, becoming pregnant after struggling with infertility, this year has been a bit of a hard one. Not that these things are bad, but they were unplanned, unexpected and disrupted what I thought I had going for me, or how I had things planned out in my head.

The Lord has been so kind and gentle in reminding me of his promises and his care for me in every situation. I am learning that resting in Jesus no matter how difficult the battle may be whether it is an internal or external one is really the safest place to be.

This is a process though. It isn't something that is a once in a life time lesson learned. There are several steps we can take and remember as we are walking a dark path. 
Let's break down 1 Peter 5:6-10 and see what we are called to do.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,"
Admitting that we cannot control the situation takes humility which makes us feel so vulnerable, but is a necessary step in we want to walk free.

"Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
This is a deliberate act, a choice, no one else can make this decision for us. But with it comes the gentle reminder that it is for our good and that our Heavenly Father only has our best in mind.

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
This is a battle ground. We aren't fighting ourselves here, we have a real enemy who wants nothing more then for us to take our eyes off Jesus and focus in on ourselves. Which in turns brings us further and further down.

"Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world."
When we realize that “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬) Our enemy isn't our husband, children, or even other people in our lives, we need to realize who our enemy really is and resist him! 
And a much needed reminder that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! This has got to be one of the biggest lies the enemy throws our way! We as women feel so much pressure to get it all "Right". How we raise our children, how we decide to school them, how we appear in public, do we look like we have it all together? And the list goes on and on. If the enemy can make us feel that we are alone and no one understands we will in turn retreat and sink deeper and deeper into the slough of self pity, shame, self loathing, guilt... which is a never ending spiral down into the pit of despair. So reach out! The writer in Ecclesiastes says that "There is nothing new under the sun" Your struggle is nothing new or unheard of and you would be surprised how many responses of "Me too!" You will hear when you are obedient and open up to someone. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James‬ ‭5:16‬) There is healing when we open up and share what is really happening in our lives. We then have someone coming before the throne with us seeking help in our time of need!

Then comes the really good part!
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
This struggle is not forever! There is a purpose, there is an end. And then comes what we all long for, to be restored, confirmed, strengthened, and established! ‬Once we have suffered for a little while and really learned what we need to he will restore us himself! No secondhand work there! He will come in and himself make us new and set us upon the rock which cannot be shaken!

Remember, when we feel the clouds hanging low with no brake in site there is something we can do! And I realize there are times when we feel like we are so low that we can't even pray, (I think of my three year old who when she feels overwhelmed she simply says "I can't" and waits for me to help her, and which mother wouldn't reach out and help her child when we see they are struggling?) I think of the verses Psalm 61:2-3 "From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy."
Call out to Him! He will hear and deliver! He will gently lead us to a safe place if we let Him and are willing to follow.

Melodie Wiebe
Lighthouse Gospel Church

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