No doubt 2020 has been a crisis for many. How can we push aside fear?
“casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”
1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)
Fear is sneaky.
It starts with a neutral thought — unobtrusive. A thought that I surely should consider, right?
On a Monday morning, after I’d had my tea and quiet – the sun barely coming up on the little people under our roof – I scanned the news. One headline caught my eye, portending economic doom. I should read this, I think. I should know this. By the time I scanned three-fourths of the article, my people started waking, and the day called me to attention.
Six hours and two meals, one grocery order, one load of laundry, two rounds of dishes later, and the house is quiet. But my heart doesn’t calm with the house. The first floor is silent, but something is rattling on my insides.
I try to distinguish what’s out of place.
Fear is sneaky.
It often poses as wisdom before it gives way to fear: I should get that spot on my neck checked out, manage my finances better, get rid of that backyard playground that the neighbor suggested is “not safe for children.”
But the distinction between wisdom and fear can be confusing. And without a frequent connect to God, we can live in that confusion every day.
My morning could have looked like this:
I read the headline and notice the lump in my throat and a slight twitch in my fingers as I rush to click through… and I sigh and say “Jesus, I feel fear. Will You hold my hand as I read this article?”
I scan three-fourths of the page, and instead of launching into my day, I hide in my laundry room (the only quiet space in this full house) and remember the verse I read earlier:
“… cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)
And I talk to God.
I bring Him what I feel, and I speak His Word back to Him, amid my shaking hands and my racing heart. This simple phrase of a verse – because He cares for you – feels stark against my flesh that wants to self-protect. As I say it, as I pray it, I realize that I don’t really believe it. I see that, in making plans and sending a crisis text, I would sow into the false belief that if I don’t care for me, no one will.
But I pray with that lump in my throat and but now His Word in my mouth – allowing my anxiety to meet what is the most real thing in my day (Him) … and something shifts.
I often think I am “casting my cares on Him” when I sermonize myself, read a blog post about fear, or text a friend to pray; however, the only way to experience His care for me is when I:
Bring the guttural anxiety to Him.
And let His Word and His whisper touch that panicky place. That crisis spot.
(And something shifts inside of me and my day looks different because of it.)
How To Breathe During This Crisis: Disconnecting With Fear, Connecting With God
In Your Word
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In Your Life
Examine the past few days. Where can you see signs of anxiety? (When did you raid the fridge, spend more time scrolling than you planned, snap at your children or your friend?) Return to that moment and bring that anxiety to Him? It’s never too late.
For anyone who wants to dive deeper, Adore offers a simple, soul-nourishing practice for engaging with God in the middle minutes of your day. In Adore, Sara Hagerty gives us permission to admit: “I barely know You, God,” and with this honest admission, to scoot a little nearer to this familiar stranger.
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Watch the trailer here.