The seasons are changing, the weather is all over the place, and my feelings are following suit. I saw a meme that said: “The human body is 90% water. So we are basically cucumbers with anxiety.” I laughed to keep from crying, but how true is this? We are always anxious over something, whether it be our past, present, or future forgetting that all three are beyond our control. So what’s this cucumber with hair to do?
As Christians, we are called to turn to the One who can heal us of our past, help us in the present, and give us hope for the future. The Bible reminds us to, “not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]” (Philippians 4:6-7 AMP). The encouragement I find in these verses is that God invites me to bring all the things to Him. He doesn’t ask me to dress them up in Not Today Satan t-shirts or hide behind my ‘blessed’ smile when people ask me how I’m doing. He encourages me to bring every circumstance and situation to Him. These verses help me to know that I can bring all my cares to Him trusting that my doubts and fears do not scare Him away. Instead, when I bring Him everything, He gives me peace that will help me endure anything. Where I think I need answers, His peace is enough. Where I think I need closure, His peace transcends that. Where I think I need an escape, His peace reminds me of His grace. Sounds simple yet it’s a process.
So how can we put aside anxiety and worry and tap into that peace God promises us when we bring our junk to Him:
Acknowledge the feelings: Plenty of us stuff our feelings and emotions thinking that makes us look more holy. But just like the levee that breaks as water rushes in during a hurricane, we aren’t designed to withstand the overload of emotions and feelings caused by life that can be devastating at times. God knows we get anxious or worried, so we can acknowledge those feelings too.
Arrest the feelings: It’s ok to not be ok, but it’s not ok to stay there. This isn’t a call to rush through healing by any means, this is simply a call to not let your feelings and emotions reign over you. There are times when I wake up with an attitude, someone hurts my feelings, or a thought will trigger me, but I’ve had to learn to sit and process those feelings but not seep in them letting them negatively affect me.
Align the feelings with the Word of God: “I am feeling afraid, anxious, and worried, but none of this is from God. God has given me power, love, sound judgment, and personal discipline to move through this” (Encouragement 2 Timothy 1:7). Open your mouth and question the voice that questions you. Too many times as we are trying to be strong but dying on inside, the enemy is running amuck in our heads. Not anymore. I encourage you to align your feelings with what the Word of God says so that you can experience peace until you see the proof of promised victory over your situation.
It might take a little practice, and that’s ok because God is graciously walking beside you. He will go at your pace to give you that peace.