I’ve struggled with anxiety and perfectionism my whole life. The thoughts that plagued me most were,
“Is anyone going to be proud of me?”
“What if I make a mistake and mess up my whole life?”
“What if I’m not good enough for God?”
The older I got the worse my anxiety became until panic attacks and needless worry consumed me.
Each day I read scripture, listened to worship music and prayed for God to take these fears away, but they only grew. I called out to God asking him why He wasn’t helping me, and He responded, “You’re not trusting me, let go.”
Anxiety can be a controlling force in our lives. It seeks to paralyze our bodies, monopolize our lives, and neutralize any threat to its reign. If it had its way, we would lock our doors, turn out the lights, and live in darkness. But Christ calls us to more than fear. We are the light and the hope in the darkness.
“Take this struggle away from me and show me how to trust you.” I cried out to Him in response. I didn’t realize that in order to trust Him, I had to go through this storm. I had to weather the howling wind and thundering skies. I had to realize I had no control over my life, none. But it would also teach me I was never alone.
There is a story in the Daily Bread October 1995 addition about a Native American boy.
To become a man, he had to spend the night alone in a dark forest blindfolded. With each perceived footfall or gush of wind, the boy lurched. He wanted to run home to his father the strongest man he knew, but determined to prove his worth, he stayed.
The sun rose and the exhausted boy ripped off his blindfold. To his astonishment, he saw his father standing beside him armed with a bow ready to protect his boy from anything.
That’s how God was looking out for me. Though I was blinded by fears and stress God hadn’t gone anywhere. He was still there right beside me keeping watch. He kept telling me to trust Him because He never left my side.
Now I know I’ll never stand alone because He protects me. All I have to do is stop fighting Him and give Him control.
My church has this saying: ‘If you’re not dead God’s not done’. This means if you’re still alive God has plans for your life and If my heart is still beating, God has something important for me to do.
He doesn’t care if I do it shaking or trembling. He is willing to hold my hand and guide me through it. It’s okay to be afraid but you can’t let fear control you.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and reach out to God saying, “I trust you and I’m letting go of this.” I promise you even if it doesn’t seem like it, He’s there just waiting for your call.
Here is a link if you want to read the original story. Sermon illustration » Indian boy thought he spent the night alone (family-times.net)
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