It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that anxiety was part of the daily fabric of my life. Growing up in chaos, anxiety had been my normal. It was how I survived.
I’ve come a long way in learning to trust Jesus with my worries. I’ve also talked with many who deal with the same daily anxiety levels, whether they realize it or not.
Most of the things I’ve learned to say (and what not to say) have either come from others or my own mouth. Turns out, the most helpful words to say to your anxious friend come straight out of God’s Word.
If you have a friend who struggles with anxious thoughts, either chronically or occasionally, here’s a list of three ways to comfort her.
It’s easy in the midst of a trial to forget God’s goodness. When we’re suffering, we often lose sight of the big picture.
I’ve been studying the book of Daniel and gleaned some treasures from an old, familiar story: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego on the plain of Dura.
King Nebuchadnezzar had built a 90-ft. statue and assembled a crowd of important people—government officials, satraps, and leaders—to dedicate it. He commanded everyone to bow down and worship the statue whenever they heard the music, or be thrown into a furnace.
If you don’t already know the story, a plain full of important government officials bowed down to the statue when the music played. I’m picturing hundreds and hundreds.
All but three.
In the day to day, it’s easy to put the sovereignty of God out of mind. We focus on our to-do lists, schedules, and families. If we’re honest, we sometimes wonder if we missed something important along the way.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to concentrate too much on the aspects of life where I struggle. Whether I succeed or not in what I’m doing determines my worth as a person, at least in my own mind.
Then I start asking questions like, “What am I even doing here? Did I misunderstand God’s calling for my life?”
Yesterday I flew from one rainy/underwater side of the country to the other side, which happens to be on fire. I woke up early to leave for the airport, only to be greeted by the news that an earthquake had rocked Mexico while I slept.
As Irma blows her way through the Caribbean, killing dozens and leaving desolation in her wake, Houston begins to rebuild and recover from Harvey’s destruction. Meanwhile, Floridians follow their familiar hurricane protocols—filling sand bags, boarding up windows, and stocking up supplies.
As I continue my series on shame, I have the honor of hosting Denise Pass, author, speaker, and worship leader. Here she explores the purpose of shame. Is it ever a good thing? Here’s what she has to say:
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character. Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God–I say this to your shame.” 1 Corinthians 15:33-34
Tucked in a chapter about the resurrection life we have in Christ are these verses in which Paul is shaming the people of God. None of us like to hear “shame on you” and we typically think people who shame others are judgmental and legalistic. But sometimes the shame fits. What then?
Last week, I blogged about how to keep others from shaming us, but there’s no magic cure for the shame we keep locked in our hearts for years.
If you’re like me, you’ve asked, “How do we give our shame to God?”
Here are 3 Promises we can cling to while we talk to Him about it and allow Him to take the shame away:
I wrote a couple weeks ago about my unintentional garden. It’s a 4′ X 4′ tangle of weeds, tomato plants, and one prolific bell pepper plant.
Seriously, the bell pepper plant has four stalks with a dozen blooms each. The first stalk already has a dozen baby peppers forming. If it keeps it up, I won’t have to buy frozen bell peppers for a year.
And that’s not even mentioning the bountiful tomato plants!
That sinking feeling again. Like maybe I haven’t quite lived up to someone’s expectations or disappointed them somehow.
It’s an anxiety that creeps up on me sometimes when I least expect it, accompanied by a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that somehow I’m not good enough.
You ever feel that way, friend?
I let the garden go fallow this year so I could focus on writing goals. Tall weeds grew where I’d toiled over tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers last year. I’d get out there eventually to pull them, I told myself.
But my daughter came in from the backyard one morning with an announcement. “We have nine baby tomato plants!”
Sure enough, there were twice as many plants as I’d planted last year. Plus, a volunteer bell pepper plant.
I used to have such a wrong idea about the Fruit of the Spirit. I’d read the verses in Galatians like a laundry list of so many things I couldn’t do enough, be enough. I would either flip to another book of the Bible, or vow to work on being more loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, etc. But the next day, I wouldn’t even be able to list all nine.
This post is the ninth in a series on walking with God instead of pursuing idolatry. You’ll find the previous one here.
Learning to walk by the Spirit isn’t without its stumbles.
When I started this series, I commented to a friend, “I can already tell I’m going to be seriously tested.” Little did I know, God planned to show me so much more than I wanted to know about my own tendency (or lack thereof) to keep in step. Read more