Anxiety begins when we start believing that our problems are too great for our God.
It was 8:05 am when I woke up that morning. Exactly 5 minutes AFTER my scheduled interview for a selective job opportunity I hoped to pursue after graduation. The economy was slowly recovering from the recession of 2007 and work after college was still fragmented. Here I was, scheduled to interview for a secure teaching position; instead, my alarm had failed and as I rose for the day, interviews were already taking place.
When I looked at the clock my heart stopped. I had no breath and couldn’t recall how to get it. In my mind, the only job opportunity available to me post-college had vanished in an instant.
I jumped out of bed in a panic -my feet barely touching the floor. Pacing about the room out of breath, my mind wandered into a “sunken place”. How would I survive after graduation? Where would I live? How would I eat? What would my family think? How would we pay for our wedding? That’s right. Not only was I preparing to graduate, but I was also planning a wedding!
I still remember the physical feeling of what I now can identify as a panic attack.
Mind spiraling into a hole of darkness
I’m sure some of you can relate to having anxiety. Some may know the feeling of panic attacks as well. Thankfully, it’s been years since I’ve had an episode like the one described above. I had to learn to take captive every thought.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
This scripture comes from Paul warning the early church about certain religious leaders who had presented themselves to the Corinthian church as apostles, but were not genuine apostles. The church had begun believing other teachings.
Do you ever find yourself believing anything other than the word of God? That always leads to an anxious heart. During my panic attack, I believed that God would let me fail. That he wouldn’t be my provider.
What are you believing that’s contrary to the word of God?
If it’s anything other than the word of God, TAKE CAPTIVE that thought and fix your thoughts on God’s promises. He said he would never leave us or forsake us – and I believe it.
Soulwork: List 3 thoughts you're currently having that are causing you stress or anxiousness. Your list could include anything from your car not starting to people dying from the coronavirus.
Find 3 promises in the Bible contrary to your fear. Do the work. Seek a counter argument. This is where you gain control.
Here's one to get you started: "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth met: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of think own hands." (Psalms 138:8 KJV)