Fear is a powerful thing. It manifests itself in many different ways. Sometimes it comes at you full force—hitting you in the face like a sledgehammer and then keeping you on the ground. Other times it creeps on you like a snake winding its body around your neck, slowing beginning to choke you. Either way, regardless of how it shows itself, fear does one thing:
It steals your joy.
See, when you’re afraid, you’re not thinking about the present. No, you’re thinking about your fear. It’s hard to focus on anything but whatever you’re afraid of or worrying about. And you definitely aren’t focusing on God. Maybe you’re praying for help, maybe you’re crying out to Him or even reading His Word. Maybe you aren’t—maybe you’re too afraid to.
But I don’t need to tell you this. Everyone at some point in their life has felt fear, but for those of you with anxiety or stress problems, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a daily, constant struggle that most of the times gets the best of you.
I don’t have it as badly as some people do. It can even affect your health, which thankfully I don’t have to deal with. People may have told you, “It’s all in your head” or “just get over it,” but the reality of it is much, much harder than that.
I have problems with being paranoid. Literally about anything and it can come at me at any time. Like I said before, I don’t have it badly. Usually, it just gets in my head and robs me of my joy. It distracts me and keeps me focused on it so that even if I’m doing something enjoyable, I’m focusing on it and not God or my family or the joy that I’m supposed to be feeling.
I’m tired of being afraid.
I’m sure many of you can agree with that.
I don’t have a solution and I don’t have all the answers (I hate to break it to you).
Yes I know He’s there for me, you may say. But how does this help me right now?
That’s what I’m telling you! He’s there! The fun and most amazing thing about God is that HE’S THERE! He’s always available to you, 24/7. He never puts you on hold, never tells you to “hold on for just a minute; I’m busy.” He’s never to busy for you and He’s always listening!
In those moments when you’re afraid, when you’re struggling with your anxiety, when its causing your body to shake or hurt, when you’re so bogged down in your mind that you don’t see anything else but your fear, cry out to Him! Pray about it! Tell Him everything. Every little detail, even if you think it’s unimportant or it doesn’t matter. Pour out your heart to Him. Even if you’re afraid to do that. Just tell Him.
Then sit there, close your eyes and just breathe. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Wait in His Presence. He may speak to you. You may hear His voice directly or maybe a song will pop into your head. Sing it. Maybe a verse will pop into your head. Read it. Or maybe nothing will happen except the feeling of His Presence washing over you. Relish in it.
Afterward, you’ll feel free. Lightl. Weightless. Like the burden has been lifted from your shoulders—because it has.
Know that God will never put more upon you than you are able to bear. He knows your limits. He knew your every thought before you think it. He knew your name and every hair on your head before you were born. He knit you together in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! He would never do anything to hurt you!