So much change has happened this past week, and so quickly. There is so much uncertainty out there which can lead to anxiety, fear, panic. If I am being honest, I have struggled with losing sleep this week, struggling with getting my mind to shut down with all the news, all the unknowns. I have felt anxiety grab ahold of me as I see all the empty shelves at the stores. Schools are closing for six weeks leaving us and many other families scrambling to figure out if and how we can work during this time.
God’s Word, though, says, ““Be anxious for NOTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God;” (Philippians 4:6, emphasis added mine).
Be anxious for nothing. Not empty shelves, not viruses, not school closures.
Instead of letting worry and anxiety in, we need to take those anxious thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We need to choose to not let those anxious thoughts surround us, control us. We need to remove our eyes off the chaos and uncertainty and focus our eyes instead on God, getting in His Word, and reminding ourselves of who He is.
In a world of uncertainty, He is certain and never changing. In a world of chaos, He is order. In a world of no control, He is sovereign.
As I made the decision yesterday to not let anxiety rule my thoughts and to keep my eyes on God alone, I was able to look back and see how He has been working all around me, preparing for this very time we find ourselves in now.
I work for a nonprofit humanitarian organization. This time last year, in my department, we were moving into a new system. That system allowed us to move almost my entire department to work at home within a matter of days when COVID-19 concerns arose.
Even two years ago, God was working, moving my family into a new church, one that has deepened my faith by convicting me where and when needed, challenging me to not only read my Bible but also live by what I read in it. God planted us in a church body that doesn’t just go to church together but does life together. Through this chaotic time, we encourage each other and remind each other to keep our faith. God planted me two years ago so when this hard time came, I can flourish like a palm tree, grow like a cedar (Psalm 92:12). My faith has roots that are getting deeper and deeper.
If you are follower Jesus, know that He has prepared you for the situations that come, not always to walk through it untouched, but to build your faith, to prepare you spiritually for what you will walk through, to build your strength in Him.
If you are struggling with fear and anxiety right now in any situation you are facing, I challenge you to take those thoughts captive. Get in God’s Word. Remind yourself who He is.
Take the time to look back over the last few days, months or even last couple of years. Look for those things He has done, even those little things, that have prepared you either physically or spiritually for the situation you are walking through right now. Know that He was walking you through it, getting you ready for it, before you even knew you were going to walk through this. Open your eyes to see how He has worked in you, through you and all around you.