by Tammy Kennington @TammyKennington
I can’t sleep. Anxiety has wrapped its vice-grip around my stomach and presses hard on my chest. My turbulent thoughts spin and quicken my pulse. Bile rises in the back of my throat as one silent, dooming message after another ticks across the screen of my mind. Help me, Lord! I don’t utter the words aloud, but they pour from my soul, thick with worry and fear.
I know I’m supposed to pray for the dear ones on my heart. But I can’t even imagine a good outcome. How could anything worthy or beautiful come from an ugly, sin-ridden situation like this one? How can God possibly bring something beautiful from the rubble?
I persist in whispering prayers to the heart of my Father as the day moves on. The situation continues to be on my mind, still preoccupying me at times. But eventually the anxiety begins to fade as He reminds me about His faithful provision to His children, repeated in history time and time again.
When Naomi lost hope, God gave her Ruth.
When Mary heard of Christ’s impending birth, God sent her to Elizabeth.
When David faced the sword of the king, God offered protection through Jonathan.
When Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendego walked through the fire, the Lord stood with them.
When the waves washed over Peter, Jesus pulled him from the depths.
When the enemy laughed because He’d thought he’d overcome, Christ rose from the grave.
We all experience both ends of each spectrum: joy and sorrow, celebration and grief, delight and despair. Because we live in a world designed by God but polluted by the enemy, our experiences will oscillate between glimpses of heaven and encounters with hell.
For. A. Time.
Then Christ will scoop each of His children up into the arms of eternity. The sorrow? Destroyed. The grief? Overcome. The despair? Decimated. Instead, we will only know and remember the love, mercy, and grace of the God who brought us through it all.
I long for the timelessness of all that is good and beautiful, don’t you? In the meantime, though, our wrestling with worry, anxiety and fear can take a back seat to the faithfulness of God.
If He extended grace before the cross, what will He do for you now? Oh, Friend, you are safe beneath His wings.
Perhaps you’re struggling this week in the same way I have. Why not recite these words of hope as a proclamation of God’s love for you? Complete the blanks with your name as a reminder that you are beloved by Him:
When _______________ was without hope, God gave her new life in Jesus.
When ________________ faced impending trials or accusations, God was her shield.
When ________________ walked through the fire, the Lord stood with her.
When the waves washed over _________________, Jesus pulled her from the depths.
While the enemy laughed because He’d thought he’d overcome __________________, Christ had already won her victory.
Print off this list of verses to pray over and recite when the enemy comes at you with fear and anxiety. And fight Satan’s lies with the truth.
About the author: Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, education workshop presenter, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy leads women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them. The author of five children’s nonfiction books, Tammy has also written articles and devotions for Thriving Family, The Upper Room, MOPS and several other publications.
Does emotional pain and suffering hold you back from experiencing joy? Moving from Pain to Peace provides hope and healing through hands-on study of Biblical truths, journaling and prayer. Why not take the first step toward recovery from your wounds today?
Join the conversation: What helps you the most when you are consumed by anxiety or fear?