I have a confession, y’all, I am a chronic worrier! I absolutely love Jesus with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I know that Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I know. But one thing about me: I’m gon’ pray and worry.
It’s not a badge of honor at all; my anxiety is something I’m continually lifting up to God. I’m the type of person that likes to know what is happening before I commit to anything. I need to know the plan because I cannot stand being confused. But that is not how our faith works. Last month on Facebook, I saw the funniest status by Will Johnson, “Trusting God gets GHETTO. But ima stick beside em.” The cackle I cacked, y’all! Because yes, it does.
We pray for financial provision, and God provides it—but not in the way we expect. We pray for patience, and what does God do? Send a person or circumstance that requires and builds patience within us. We pray for God to send us a boo-thang, and God sends them—but we run and hide out of fear. One thing about God: He is serious about His Word. When He said, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7), He meant that.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Psalm 131, which reads like this:
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
Worriers live in the future. David knows this. I know this. We all know this. By the Holy Spirit’s grace and power at work in David, we have been given this tiny but mighty Psalm, which deals a devastating blow to our anxiety. I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. We cannot fathom all that God has done, is doing, and will do in our lives. God’s ways are beyond searching out. Therefore, since we do not fully know all that God is doing in our lives, let us put off anxiety, put on humility, and joyfully acquiesce to the will of God for our lives.
‘I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother.’ This imagery vividly captures a soul at rest. The child is content with her mother’s presence. How much more should we be content, as children of the Most High God? Our good God graciously invites us to take part in quieting our souls by seeing His presence as a respite for our anxious hearts. David (the author of this Psalm) is not calming himself with sheer willpower but with the strength and grace that God supplies. So, he is no longer willing to lift his heart up in pride, nor will he raise his eyes in arrogance. His future is not in his hands but in those of his faithful God. The Spirit at work in David is the same Spirit at work in you and me, enabling us to calm and quiet our anxious souls.
‘O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.’ The Holy Spirit, through David, is calling us to hope in the Lord. This is not a suggestion. It is a loving and merciful imperative, which carries this connotation: O Israel, my beloved children, whom I dearly love, trust in Me. This imperative has bearing on our lives, too, because those who believe in Jesus are now called to trust in God in the same way Israel is addressed in this psalm. So let us learn to calm and quiet our souls in the presence of the One who draws us with loving-kindness.
Sistas, how do you deal with your anxiety when it rises within?Leave a Comment