Raise your hand if you have ever been victimized by anxiety. Ok… so, obviously none of us can see one another’s hands raised right now, however, I have a feeling that if we were in a room together, we would see that most all of us could raise our hands to admit that we have encountered anxiety in some form or way in our lives. Unfortunately, that is right where the devil wants you to be with your worry. He masks you (us) from seeing that you are not alone.
Let me give you an example. Have you ever had to do something uncomfortable that is instantly made less uncomfortable if your friend is doing it with you? For example, say you have to present a project in class… it is WAY less stressful to present a group project than a project one-on-one, am I right? Just like that, anxiety and worry is dealt with so much easier when you share your stress and burdens in prayer and with close friends. Make anxiety your group project. In Matthew 6, the bible says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Whatever your issue is… *SPOILER ALERT* the Lord already knows about it.
Personally (vulnerability moment), a lot of my own anxiety has stemmed from allowing the devil to put thoughts in my head of negative things other people think of me that is not even real.
From talking to other people and not dealing with my anxiety alone, I have learned that we all do this. The thing is, we may not be doing the sins that most people talk about such as partying, sleeping around, infidelity, etc., but we are still committing sin against God just the same. We are basically telling the Lord, “God, I know you made me in your image but that just isn’t good enough if I can’t fit into a size two at Urban Outfitters. When I fit into a size two, your word will be true – but not just yet”. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” God cares about your heart for Him. God does not care about the number of followers you have, if you’re a size two, if you know how to contour, if you have the newest vans. I challenge you to strip yourself of something that you feel you need to be “enough” and allow God to feel that hole. Maybe that means for you that you don’t spend two hours getting ready in the morning or you don’t check your follower count tomorrow. Maybe your issue with anxiety does not stem from insecurity. Whatever you’re using as a crutch to make yourself comfortable, I challenge you to make yourself uncomfortable and allow God to show you that he’ll give you what you need just as he did the birds in Matthew 6.
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Have you ever thought you handle stress and anxiety well? I have. I've always thought that I could just push through life, ignoring my sometimes crippling anxiety and stress and times simply just because I could. I liked being busy, working and taking risks.