Lies. The lies are intricate. They seep deep down and dig in ~ then they sprout and spread.
But truth: The truth is eternal.
It can be drowned out, but it doesn’t have to be.
Others will tell you that if you had the right attitude or outlook, that you could move yourself right on past this. Then you go home and you are alone. Their words ring back inside your head over and over again. Your mind is working overtime. It’s spinning around this anxiety – this fear.
Lie #1: Be strong – think of yourself first and foremost. Cut all negativity out of your life. You have the power to do it. YOU are what matters. YOU have the strength. YOU have the resilience. YOU are all that is important – and your happiness.
Then the other voices will come – the ones in your head that like to come out to play during such times as these. They sing the songs of deceit. They try to make you feel they are your only friends in the world. They momentarily take your mind off the worry – this fear.
Lie #2: Don’t do that – talk to us, instead. Stay by yourself. Isolate yourself from all that junk and all those people that are adding to your anxiety. They don’t really care anyway. YOU can handle this. YOU can be alone. YOU are strong enough and YOU don’t need them anyway.
The songs turn into an intentionally weaved symphony of hatred, bitterness, resentment. Depression ensues. Heart is surrounded, mind overtaken. Clarity disappears. But the still voice is there – the One that has never left, but is asking if you are going to listen. It has the answers. It offers the peace. It can rescue you from it ~ this fear.
Truth: Why don’t you listen for a moment? Are you going to be still long enough to do so? You can call me and my voice will grow louder. I am here for you and waiting. It will become easier to you to hear if you start to listen. I am the One you need to spend time with. I am the One with the truth. The truth about it all ~ this fear.
The clenching is strong; all the physical signs are there. You have tried to will your mind to stop worrying – stop being anxious. You have listened to the condemnation from the liars. You have let the guilt grow inside about how wimpy you are. You have even tried to remember what all the others told you that God’s Word says about turning over your anxiety, your sadness. You wonder why ~ why can’t you do what you know you should do. Why do you let it rule you ~ this fear?
Truth: I have told you before and I am telling you now. It is not about being able to avoid these things. It is not about being able to cast away all others in your life that might hurt you or cause you to feel unhappy. It is not about being strong enough to remove the fear, the pain, the dark on your own. It is about walking with Me and listening to Me even in the midst of all that. You are not alone – even in this place – this place that is filled with this fear.
My favorite place in the Bible is the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus did not “get out” of the anxiety that He was dealing with during this time before the cross (even though He could have). He did not pull Himself up by His bootstraps and make sure to avoid the coming suffering, continued persecution, and horrendous torture He was about to face.
He focused instead on communion with His Father. The anxiety became secondary, although it was still present ~ very present.
The Savior of the WORLD did not try to rely upon Himself to get through it – the fear.
He pressed in and relied upon the Father. The voice of the Father. The fellowship with the Father. The submission of His will to the Father.
This fear ~ this fear is no greater than anything Jesus Christ Himself experienced. He is the One who truly understands. He shows us that we don’t isolate completely during such times. He shows us that we are to ask those who love us (the disciples in the garden) to pray for us. He tells us that we are then to go straight back to our knees and cry out to the Father. All else will fade to black.
The peace of the Father.The joy of the Father. The comfort of the Father.
We can’t avoid it ~ this fear. We can embrace it. But not alone. Never alone.
We can sweat and cry and pound and scream in the privacy offered as we meet with the Father and come into His presence. We don’t have to be tough. We don’t have to be strong. We don’t have the ability to overcome it on our own anyway (we can fake it, but that’s about as good as it gets).
Jesus suffered. Jesus felt anxiety, worry, and fear. But He cast them away.
He sweat blood to do it. He sweat it out with the Father.
The fear was there. But then the peace was there too. Then came the strength. The strength that only comes from God.
This fear. This fear you are enveloped in today, friend. Admit that it’s there. Stop berating yourself for its presence. Instead, come to your knees and cry out to the Father. Ask Him to strengthen you. He may even remove it. But even if it is not made to disappear, He will equip you. He will destroy the lies and make the truth minister to you, grow stronger, and help you to walk in peace even in the midst of it ~
Even in the midst of this fear.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10