“Alright, talk me down,” I said immediately after my friend answered her phone.
Anxiety filled me and masked itself as anger. I needed a calming agent. I needed a peacemaker.
There was an impending event that was just what the doctor had ordered for this season. It was a gift that had yet to be unwrapped. Yet I was filled with anxiety to take hold of it. I had many reasons to justify my concerns and I was an experienced lawyer arguing my case.
My friend, a wise listener, countered my arguments with God’s word.
Wait. What? God’s word? But, but, that’s not what I wanted.
I wanted her to agree with me, to tell me I had every right to be worried about this situation, and to confirm I was not being irrational.
Instead I got Bible verses. I wanted to stop her, to object, and to give her more reasons to support my cause. But, I held my tongue and listened because a piece of me knew God’s word was going to talk me down from the ledge on which I found myself. The peacemaker did her job as she gently reminded me of his word, his promises, and then brought my worries before my father.
A few days earlier in a Bible study a group of us were discussing Philippians 2,
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men
As we discussed the words of Paul, a member of the group, Jill, wisely noted that many of us needed to empty ourselves of our rights. As Americans we feel entitled to many rights and yet we see in Jesus, he willingly emptied himself of everything, including his right to life.
As I ended the call with my friend, Jill’s words echoed in my ears, and I heard
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7)
In that moment I realized I must empty myself of my right to be anxious.
The Lord says be anxious for nothing. Don’t worry about anything. There is no solid argument for all my anxious thoughts. The world pours worries on us and then medicates us to bring peace. But the Lord invites us to throw our cares on him and allow his words to be our medicine, the healing balm.
As Thomas Watson wrote in The Art of Divine Contentment, “It is our work to cast care, and it is God’s work to take care.”
Let us be like Christ and empty ourselves of our right to be anxious.
Let us turn to the one who can talk us off the edge before we plummet to the abyss of anxiety.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT)
May I encourage you today loosen your grip on worry and cling tightly to his promises and peace?