Help for Fellow Freaker-Outers
I’m anxious by nature.
Hmm . . . that feels like an understatement.
I’m a pull-out-your-hair, bite-your-nails, pace-the-floors kind of gal. Fear tends to stalk me. Worry is my worst frenemy. On any given day I might wrestle with feelings like:
- God doesn’t love me.
- Neither does my husband, my children, or my friends.
- I’m wasting my life.
- I’m too chubby, too simple, too fashion impaired.
- What if I get cancer?
- What if someone I love gets cancer?
- What if there really is such a thing as the zombie apocalypse?
- What if no one takes me seriously?
- What if everyone takes me seriously?
I could go on, but I think that’s a long enough peek into the crazy train that often races through my mind. This reality might come as a shock to you if you only know me as Erin Davis, the girl who runs this killer blog. Honestly, it might equally shock you if you are one of my “real life” friends or relatives. Because most of the time, I act pretty cool, calm, and collected, but inside I often feel like the churning of a washing machine.
Sure, I could try relaxation techniques, long hikes in peaceful woods, or giving up coffee (No thanks!). The truth is, I have tried those things, and they may lower my blood pressure a notch or two, but they don’t really sooth the churning.
But God’s beautiful Word does!
The first and last time I read the Bible.
I remember the first time I read the Bible for myself. I was in junior high, and there was some girl drama in my world. I’d tried everything I knew to do to fix it, but the rumor mill just kept right on churning. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, but I went to church and owned a Bible. Out of sheer desperation to push back the panic, I picked up my Bible for the very first time, opened up to the Psalms and started reading.
Honestly, most of what I read didn’t make much sense to me, but it did calm me. Even with a finite understanding of God and His Word, I could catch on that the Bible proclaimed God’s love for me and that it was full of promises that felt bigger than who was mad at me for saying what.
After reading for hours, I closed my Bible and told my mom, “The Bible seems to have some cool stuff in it.”
When was the last time I read the Bible? This morning. I couldn’t sleep. I tried the tossing and turning and pacing at first, but somewhere in-between junior high and grown-upedness, I’ve learned the best antidote for my anxiety is God’s Word. It is a deep well. I can drop my bucket down and find real peace every single time. Over and over again, God has transformed my heart from that agitated washing machine to a pool of still water (Psalm 23:3) through His Word.
The power of God’s promises
Why does the Bible soothe my anxious heart? Because it has a promise to counteract every worry.
Here are some examples.
Worry: God doesn’t love me.
Truth: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jer. 31:3.).
Worry: I am wasting my life
Truth: “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4). Translation: The way to make my life matter is through humble service to others.
Worry: What if I get cancer?
Truth: “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut. 31:8). Translation: If I find myself on a cancer wing, Jesus will be right there with me.
For every worry my heart and mind can conceive, there is a promise in God’s Word about His ability to get me through it.
God’s promises aren’t sticky.
Since God’s promises have made a difference in my life, you’d think I could be free from fear and worry once and for all. While I am happy to report that God’s Word is transforming me into a less anxious person, He did not wave a magic wand and set me free from freaking out for good. Sometimes, I have a hard time getting God’s promises to stick to my heart. I read them and find peace for the moment, but find myself anxious again the next day, or week, or year.
I believe this is by design. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Bible is living and active. It’s not a book you read once and put back on the shelf to gather dust. It’s the living and active Word of God. It requires active interaction from me. Since the Bible is the place where I hear the voice of God most clearly, it’s the place I need to run to every day.
The bottom line is that nothing has changed my life more than God’s Word.
Yes, I read it to soothe my anxious heart, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
- Heals my brokenness.
- Exposes my sin.
- Moves me beyond my selfishness.
- Gives my life purpose.
- Helps me see the world beyond my front door.
- Teaches me who God is.
- Teaches me who I am.
- Strengthens my relationships.
- Changes my priorities.
I could go on, but I don’t want to spill all the beans. I hope you’ll catch a vision for just how amazing the Bible really is.
Any fellow freaker-outers out there? What Bible verses has God used to calm your anxious heart?
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