It’s been an anxiety filled week.
The kind of anxiety that has your pulse racing with no explanation. Driving home last night I just kept thinking:
How do people do this without God and His Word?
I honestly do not get it.
The world makes some pretty persuasive arguments about what matters. It’s fairly effective at convincing me that the things I can see and touch and taste are all that matter.
And all I have are pages in a book: doctrines that appear so lofty and epic and seemingly disconnected from life. But in those moments of anxiety, the Spirit rips those words out of the abstract and uses them like a staple gun to lock me back down to what’s real.
And so I wonder: what does He use to bind you to truth without those words?
I mean, seriously. When you’re anxious and afraid, what is the anchor for your soul? When you’re anger and indifferent, bitter and frustrated what is the cement that the Spirit uses to keep you in the fight?
God keeps us through faith in something, not just a random concept of ‘belief’. Faith is only as powerful as what it believes in.
It’s not enough to squeeze your eyes shut and ‘believe’. Believe in what?
Don’t tell me not to be anxious. Tell me why I shouldn’t be anxious.
Don’t tell me it’s gonna work out. What does that even mean?
Give me something to believe that is firm and deep enough to meet reality face on; not deny it, or ignore, but embrace it and consume it.
Give me a solution to anxiety that isn’t called into question when my life falls apart and all my dreams are eaten up by death and decay.
Give me something to stand on that doesn’t just ‘feel’ strong for a moment, but that IS actually strong enough to bear my weight for this life and the next.
And don’t tell me that’s too much to ask.
Because I’m sitting next to a book that is filled with truths that are more than enough to decimate the world in any argument that calls into question our God. But those truths aren’t simple or easy.
If we want to unearth them it will take mental discomfort and physical discomfort and emotional discomfort.
We would have to be willing to be mentally uncomfortable and wrestle through feeling stupid so that we get to the place where we beg and pray for wisdom from above.
We would have to be willing to navigate the awful emotions that come when we read something that doesn’t sit well with us or our version of God.
We would have to be willing to endure physical discomfort: skipping that nap when our kids go down, or waking up earlier to have more time with His Word.
And let’s be honest: we hate discomfort.
So, we settle for ‘Gospel-centered’ self-help: Don’t be anxious! Think about Jesus.
We don’t have enough fuel for something deeper.
We haven’t explored the doctrine of adoption so we don’t have the salve for our desperate longing to be deeply and recklessly wanted.
We have skipped over the doctrine of God’s election because it makes us uncomfortable and it seems irrelevant – right up until that day when our kids deny Christ and through the deepest pain we wonder: is this my fault?
We skim the surface of the doctrine of sovereignty because we hate the way our mind gets tangled on the whole ‘human responsibility’ thing.
And it makes me sad.
Because driving home last night,
‘Don’t be anxious! think about Jesus!’
didn’t quite pack the same punch as:
Don’t be anxious. Present your petitions to me and then trust me, (Philippians 4:6). I uphold this whole crazy universe with my power, (Hebrews 1:3). I’m working every single detail - from the molecules in your blood to the stars in the sky – according to the council of my will, (Ephesians 1:11). And you know what my purpose is? It’s to display who I am perfectly and clearly (Ephesians 1:14), and that’s going to mean being good to you my daughter, because that’s who I am, (Eph 2:7). It’s going to mean holding nothing good back from you, (Psalm 84:11) And you know that. Because I proved that to you on the same day I purchased that promise for you, (Romans 5:10). I gave you Christ – my own son. If I was willing to give you Him, don’t you think I’m graciously willing to give you all things, (Romans 8:34)? Didn’t that day at Calvary prove that even evil works for your good and my glory, (Acts 2:23)? Trust me.