Hi, my name is Dawn, and I'm a worrier. But don't worry -- God has me on his twelve step plan for anxiety sobriety. It looks a little like this: The opportunity arises to totally freak out over an earthly care. You know when that happens, right?
First you feel like an elephant moved into your chest and is trying to escape through your esophagus -- heavy and slow. Instead, the pressure creeps behind your cheekbones and begins to crowd your tear ducts. When you finally think you have that under control, it props your eyelids open at bedtime and flings your brain into a whirlwind of rapid-fire irrational thoughts. Then, just in the nick of time, God comes through with a word of scripture or encouragement from a sister. You have just enough strength to make it through until God (finally) meets the need and puts you out of your misery and leaves you feeling like a dope for worrying in the first place.
Well, Saturday night the whole process began agian. What can I say -- practice makes perfect. I was up to the tear duct part by bedtime, so I got up and went to the computer to read. Sleepy time tea took its toll, and the next thing I knew, I was in Sunday School. Although I don't remember much about the lesson in Mark 13, a little nugget from the opposing page tapped me on the shoulder and did this:
I wanted to hear it straight from the horse's mouth (in this instance, King David), and discovered verse two, which says something about Jesus extending his scepter to gain victory. The rapid-fire thoughts now made me see Moses with his arms lifted to the heavens while Israel defeated her enemy on the battlefield and Aaron and Hur sat under Moses' weary arms. So I went to investigate that, and found even more a few chapters prior in Exodus 14:14 which says, I will fight for you while you keep silent.
God had given me a strategy to glorify Him in my weakness, and to reassure me He hasn't left his throne. Little did I know that my Father was arming me in advance of this week's onslaught of earthly cares. (Doesn't that sound less sinful than worries?) Doubt, Despair, Anger and their friends were soon to join the enemy camp.
Monday morning I found an obscure Proverb, more truth that spoke directly to the new assault. It has become the promise I have clung to all week. I also found the Chips Ahoys in the pantry. As I dug into the bag, I dug into prayer without ceasing, forcing myself forward in faith, feeling Jesus right there beside me every precious step.
It's made me wonder what fervent prayer is anyway. Is it the prayer you want answered so badly that your prayer comes all the way from your toes? Is it when you beg and badger like a spoiled child? Is it when you pray the same thing for the hundredth time this hour because the worry keeps pushing you to your knees -- ceaselessly?
These prayers are certainly different than the ones prayed before meals and at bedtime. Are those casual prayers? Is God fervently listening? Is the prayer even for Him, or is it for me?
All I know is that God directed me to stay at His armpit. His provision has already started to come in the form of zeros on a check. It's humbling when God is so good and teaches so much and always comes through in the end, no matter what that looks like, even when I feel so unworthy of any of His goodness. For now, I plan to stay put right where He has me, and let the chocolate chip cookies keep me company until every enemy is defeated.
This is a repost from the archives to link with "Hear it on Sunday -- use it on Monday" at Nebraska Graceful. I just love when the sermons reach past the pew and grips our Monday or Tuesday or Friday.