Over the years I have had my fair share of anxiety as I think most of us have. Anxiety about a new job, new school, attending a new church, first date, having a baby, the list is endless. I can specifically recall several times when I was just paralyzed by the fear brought on by the anxiousness gripping my body.
Anxiety Short Story #1:
So if you have ever driven in Dallas, there are tons of highways and interstates and even more overpasses. One day I came upon an overpass that I could have sworn was seriously taller than Mt. Everest. Yes, really that was the thought going through my mind. I could see it for miles ahead of me. It obviously had to be the biggest (well we are in Texas, remember) the highest overpass I had ever driven over. I started sweating ,y’all, and thinking to myself there was no way I was ever going to get across that overpass. Now here is the funny thing, a few years before, I had ridden by bicycle over the Galveston Causeway! What did I have to fear or be anxious about now? I wanted to shut my eyes, I didn’t of course, but I said a little prayer and just told God I was scared and to please just help me keep driving to get where I need to go. Before I knew it, I was on the other side. What joy I was filled with at that moment. God gave me the courage to keep driving, he let me know he is always with me, I never have to face anything alone.
Anxiety Short Story #2:
I love people, I love being around people, talking to people, learning about and from people. I don’t like being in crowds of people. Talk about some sweaty palm, dizzy, light-headed, anxiety now, Whew! My husband and I early on in our marriage went to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC. As we approached the stadium there was a concert going on just outside. My husband, #1 concert goer of the 80’s, proceeded to walk right on into the massive crowd of onlookers. I, on the other hand, stood there frozen, staring at the crowd thinking, “Are you kidding me?” “God, I can’t walk through all those people to get to the football game!” I’m not sure how long I stood there and how far my husband got lost in the chaos before he realized I wasn’t with him. However, before I knew it, he was back, taking my hand and saying, “Come on, its ok, you are going to be fine. ” You see, I believe that night, God heard that I needed a little assistance and He whispered in Paul’s ear , “Dude, you gotta go back and get her, she is standing there rigid.” The joy I felt when he took my hand. (I know all he felt was sweat.)
When we come to Jesus and ask him to be with us he will because he loves us and wants to be there or us. He calms us and as he says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I heard a fabulous sermon this morning by Pastor David Emory at Middletown Christian Church, Louisville, KY (See link to their website on my home page) He suggested we put our names in this verse and any other word we might be feeling. I loved this, because God calls us to come to him, not just when we are tired, but when we are anxious, overwhelmed, unsure, seeking, and so on.
Here is what Pastor David suggested:
Come to me_______________(your name), all you who are ______________ (what are you feeling) and burdened, and I will give you, ___________________ (rest)
This last blank could be Joy, purpose, perseverance, answers, guidance, whatever it is you need God to give you. Pray and meditate on the verse.
Our relationship with Jesus is so personal. He will meet us where we are when we call on Him. Thank you to Pastor David Emory for your sermon today! And thank you Jesus for being there when we call.