Exploiting anxiety

It’s killing me to not send an email right now.

I’m typing this blog post, in part, to keep me from sending emails I shouldn’t send.

It’s not what you think.

I’m anxious because I didn’t get everything done yesterday at work, and so there are emails in my inbox.  And even though today is my sabbath, I can’t stop thinking about replying to them.

So, I have a couple of options before me:

Option one: take ten seconds to send an email.  

All I have to do is open up my inbox and take ten seconds to send a couple of quick emails apologizing for the delay and buying me some more time. Ten seconds.  Within ten seconds I could make this anxiety go away.  Within ten seconds I could make sure that no one I work with thinks I’m irresponsible.  Then I would be free to focus on my sabbath without the stress I currently feel.

Sounds so good.  Ten seconds.  That’s all it would take to save me from this anxiety.

Option two: wait till tomorrow.

I could refuse to save myself from this anxiety through a change in circumstance.  I could trust God with managing my reputation, rest in the command He gave me to stop working today and be faithful with every ten seconds I’ve been given.

More than that, I could use this anxiety.  I could use it to show me places in my heart where I am finding my identity in work instead of the finished work of Jesus.  I could use this anxiety to make me needy for a Savior.

Tomorrow – I will send the emails and then the anxiety will be gone.  I will no longer feel such a need for Jesus to help me.  This next 24 hours is a limited time opportunity to cling to Jesus to rescue me from anxiety.

It may seem like a small thing – picking between option 1 or 2, but I think it is these small decisions that will determine the trajectory of our lives.

We are constantly investing our time in this world or the next.  Every ten seconds I’m given is going to be food – either to fatten up my love and dependence on Jesus or to feed my insecurity and self-centered worldview.  Each shred of anxiety gives us the opportunity to testify where our help will come from.

Honestly, spending them on Jesus doesn’t guarantee me the quick emotional fix that sending an email would bring.  But I think enduring this nagging desire to take action is an investment worth making.  Cause wherever your treasure is – there your heart will be.  The more I invest in faith in Him, the more my heart will catch up until I finally feel nothing but perfect peace and joy when I see His command to rest.

Jesus will not be a half-Savior to anyone.  He cannot be the Savior of our eternal destiny without being worshiped as Savior of our anxiety on a Friday afternoon.  He will not be used to get me to Heaven; He must be acknowledged as Lord over every area of my life, including my work inbox.

Exploit your anxiety.

Do not look to action or circumstance to save you.  Wait on a better Savior.

6 thoughts on “Exploiting anxiety

  1. Lately I’ve been struggling a lot with anxiety. I definitely needed to be reminded to exploit my anxiety. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Are you referring to the Sabbath as Jesus kept it during his Human Life ? or are you referring to the Sunday sabbath which he did not keep ? also it is good to do good even on the Sabbath and so if your emails where about the job and getting paid kind of work that you should rest from is one thing but to talk to someone that will be a good thing for them it will be a blessing.Because his ways are not burdensome even in the sabbath. example nurses and health care in general do work but it is good work for the needy people that are Gods people and need their care but that they should not work every Sabbath when they can alternate so all can worship the Lord on his holy sabbath.

  3. SO. GOOD. Every trying circumstance we have is a limited-time opportunity to grow our dependence on God. I love it! This is a huge world view change that can completely switch my response to hard times. Thank you Fabs!

  4. I read this a few weeks ago when I was in the middle of a situation that created a lot of anxiety. There’s nothing that terrifies me more than to think someone’s upset with me, but this post inspired me to hold off on sending a quick bandaid of an email to make myself feel better and instead to let God use my anxiety to drive me to my knees. The situation isn’t resolved yet, but I feel like eventually everything will work out in a healthier way because I’ve taken time to lay it all before The Lord and listen to His voice.

  5. Anxiety is often an issue for me, and while Jesus has worked miracles in my heart and mind, I’ve never considered it from this angle – the idea of USING that anxiety. Letting it work as a refining fire, making the dross rise to the surface where it can be seen and dealt with. I love that!

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