Main

Anxiety Archives

December 3, 2003

Wait!

After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:4

If you do the math, it indicates that Adam lived to see the birth of his great-great-great-great-great-grandson. Methuselah, the oldest man to have ever lived, was born before Adam died.

Adam saw a lot of life in 930 years. He saw good and bad. He experienced the Garden of Eden. He survived the murder of one son by the hands of another. Adam saw Enoch, Methuselah's father, walk with God as he once had. Then he saw the day that Enoch walked and didn't return.

I wonder how much Adam learned in that 930 years? About life? About God's real plan for mankind? One thing is probably certain: Adam was in no hurry. I expect he learned a great deal about waiting upon the Lord.

Lord, why am I in such a hurry? Life is so much shorter now compared to when people first walked the earth, but the lesson is the same - we need to wait for You.

Well, all my emotions of yesterday - all my anxiety over being compensated appropriately - left me feeling exhausted and raw. And now, I must face another day. I got word at the end of yesterday that I will get what I wanted. I'm excited. I didn't escape into my old habits to mask the truth: that I was afraid it wouldn't happen - that I wouldn't measure up, and I would have to tell my family once again, "Sorry. It's not what we had hoped." Now, I need to justify the salary - to prove that I should have it. Then the tough job of really earning it begins.

"Results!" That's the next hurdle.

Yet through it all, Lord, I guess I am learning some of what Adam may have learned. "Wait!" That's all we can do at times. Wait... and keep ourselves from sin. Father, help me to accomplish all you have before me today. This month will overwhelm me without You.

Help me to wait for You.

January 19, 2004

Holding Out

When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. Genesis 41:56

Joseph understood the importance of being patient and waiting for the right time. The famine began, and the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Yet Joseph waited until the famine had struck the entire land. If the people had simply accessed the stored grain as soon as the abundance stopped, they probably would have been wasteful. Joseph knew that seven years were ahead, so he made the people wait. A man who is starving will take more care with the little he gets; Joseph knew this.

Lord, help me to be wise as Joseph was wise. Your Spirit dwelled within him. Even Pharaoh recognized that. Give me the patience it takes to store up and to hold out. It must have seemed overwhelming to Joseph to be in charge of all Egypt at the age of 30. He trusted in You. Help me to do likewise.

January 21, 2004

The Weight of the Wait

"As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice." Genesis 43:10

Israel was afraid for his son Benjamin. His fear kept his sons from returning to Egypt for more food. All the while, Simeon sat in an Egyptian jail, and Joseph went about his business waiting for the return of his brothers.

I wonder how Joseph felt. My guess is he was an emotional wreck. All the years of hurt probably pressed upon him. The weight of his emotions must have been enormous. As the days passed and the weeks went by, Joseph may have questioned his actions. Should he have sent his brothers back to Canaan? Should he have revealed himself already? The wait for his brothers return must have been excruciating.

Lord, I am so often pulled down by the weight of my emotions and so often distracted by the wait for Your return. Help me to be anxious about nothing. Help me to be patient as I see Your plans unfold. Press upon me Holy Spirit, so I might be fruitful today.

March 4, 2004

When God Speaks

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die." Exodus 20:18-19

God spoke to the Israelites from Mount Sinai. He gave them ten commandments on how they should live, and they were terrified. Although Moses had prepared them by having them consecrate themselves, they were certain they would die if God continued to speak.

Moses approached. He had been in God's presence before. What made the difference? How could Moses so confidently step into the Presence?

I believe Moses understood something the people didn't. The first time God spoke to Moses, he was fugitive in hiding - a murderer on the run. Yet God sought him out. God came to him with a purpose and a plan. Moses knew what we must come to know ourselves. Moses knew God's grace. God's grace is greater than any sin. His Son was sacrificed so we might understand it.

Lord, I fear You, yet I understand Your grace. Thank You for loving me enough to die in my place. It's not about me. It's all about You.

Come, Lord Jesus! Speak to me, Spirit, or I would die.

July 3, 2004

He Goes Ahead of Us

Hear, O Israel. You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. The people are strong and tall - Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: "Who can stand up against the Anakites?" But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you. Deuteronomy 9:1-3

Lord, I am afraid. My enemies seem too strong. The walls of their cities are too tall. I feel as if I will never conquer them. Will I be trapped on this side of the river forever?

I know that Your Word is true - that You will go before me - that You will be like a devouring fire. But Lord, I am frozen by my fear. What if the ones I love are hurt in the battle? What if I don't survive? I cannot bear the thought of leaving my wife alone. There are times I feel she would be better off. There are times I feel I would be better off. But I know the gift she is. She has loved me unconditionally - through thick and thin. I am afraid of disappointing her - of hurting her so badly that she may never recover. Yet my silence hurts her. My fear keeps me from being the leading husband she desires - the one she requires.

Father, go ahead of me. Tear down the walls that are too tall for me to climb. Chase away the great enemies who would choose to destroy me. I am a stiff-necked man, yet You love me still. Help me to never forget that it is You who is saving me and bringing me into a new land.

September 1, 2004

Peace be with you!

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you!" John 20:21a

Sometimes He has to say it twice: "Peace be with you!"

How many times, Lord, have I not heard Your voice the first time? The challenges of my day creep in, and You call out to me - "Peace!" Yet somehow my ears are closed. Somehow Your voice is muffled. Anxiety overwhelms my heart.

Thank You, Jesus, for continuing to call out Your message of peace. There is a peace that surpasses all understanding. In the midst of storms, we are calm.

Please, don't stop saying it - until I hear. Then keep on saying it - until I believe.

September 20, 2004

When I became a man...

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish things behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11

When I became a man...

Little boys can't wait for the day, but when do they know they have arrived?

Lord, I'm stuck. Emotionally, I am not the man I want to be. Something happened along the way, and parts of me never really grew up. Oh, my body is a man's; male pattern baldness is proof of that. But there are times that I am still that frightened little boy, unsure of himself - afraid of what others might think of him.

Help me to grow. Help me to mature. Help me to become a man who is confident and unafraid. I want to be like You, Lord.

October 7, 2004

Blasphemy

You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." Romans 2:23-24

The biggest problem with Christianity is Christians. We are our own worst enemies. How many times have you heard it said of church, "Oh, I won't go there because the people are hypocrites"? It isn't the teaching that keeps them away. It's the teachers. And every man who claims to know Christ yet reflects ungodliness is a teacher. The world learns that the church is not a safe place of acceptance and love. What we say with our mouths, we often negate with our action.

I met a man in a Christian support group several weeks ago. I don't know him well; he is not really more than an acquaintance, but I admire him already. This man has struggled a great deal with what life has dealt him. Most men facing what he has would have quit on life a long time ago. I respect what he says, yet this morning I am torn.

Last night, in almost the same breath, he shared powerful words of wisdom about how blessed he is by his wife and how he is putting into action a plan to take his life. My human nature says, "What a load of bull!" How can he so wonderfully verbalize how his wife has stood by him, while he plans to abandon her? How can I respect anything he says? His own words betray him!

Interestingly, almost immediately after his confession, his body seemed to betray him as well. Moments after his grand oratory about the relationship between husband and wife, he admitted to our group that he was experiencing severe chest pains. After racing from the room, with someone quickly following, he lay on the floor struggling as his heart seemed to turn on him. I have never witnessed a heart attack before. It was quite an experience. My prayer this morning is that he made it through the night and is better today. Certainly, I would have heard by now if he hadn't.

The whole experience has me thinking. How many times have I said one thing and done another? How many times have I blasphemed the name of God because my words didn't match my actions? How will my blasphemy be discovered? Will my heart betray me?

Lord, help me to live the life I long to teach. Help me to learn from all this. May You be glorified by Your Church - and by me.

~ Afternoon Post Script... He is doing well today. In the hospital for some tests. Lord, touch his body. Touch his spirit. Heal his heart.

November 29, 2004

Lord, I am afraid!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

If there is one particular emotion that has held me back the most in life, it would be fear. It has an amazing power to paralyze me. When it becomes too great, I escape. Rather than facing a challenge, I tend to avoid it. Rather than moving forward, I tend to retreat.

King David was afraid. He fled from Saul's presence and went to Achish king of Gath. While he was there, the people caused a stir because they knew this was the man anointed as the next king of Israel. As David considered their words, he became more and more frightened. I'm sure David thought of what King Achish would do to him. Here he was, the would be king of a neighboring nation, weakened and on the run. Achish could have easily decided to take Israel for himself. Why not kill David? Then he could simply take it.

Rather than allowing the fear to paralyze him, David used it. He pretended to be insane. Achish was flabbergasted. David was sent away.

Psalm 34 was written after this experience. It is obvious by his words, David knew the Source of his strength. It was only God who delivered him from his fear, and he became a stronger man through the experience.

Lord, I am afraid! All my life, I have been afraid. Rather than embracing it, rather than growing from it, I have hidden. I am still that little boy hiding under the covers. Help me to face the fear. Deliver me from it, so I can be the man You intended.

December 26, 2004

Creating Something from Nothing

There they were, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread. Psalm 53:5a

It's interesting to me how some people cannot grasp the concept of God creating the universe - making something from nothing.

I seem to do it all the time.

Jesus tells us to be anxious for nothing, but I am such an expert at worry. Very few days go by without me creating something from nothing - worrying about what might happen rather than what is. I am like the fool in David's psalm - overwhelmed with dread where there is nothing to dread.

Lord, why do I struggle to trust You? Everyday, You prove Yourself faithful. Yet so often I am frozen by the fear of being forgotten by You. Will You hold me? Will You give me eyes to see Your plan? Will You help me to leave the creating, the making of something from nothing, up to You.

Be my God. Be my strength today.

February 10, 2005

The Sound of His Voice

At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still. Psalm 76:6

At the sound of God's voice, every war - every source of turmoil - every cause of fear or despair is silenced. Nothing can stand against Him.

Lord, this has been a tumultuous week. It has been good, for I have felt Your Spirit, but so many things have been turned upside-down. The roller coaster ride is getting a little rough, and I'm afraid to ask what else could happen!

Will you speak the words that can quiet the storms around me? Or will You quiet my heart, so I might find rest? Bring peace where the enemy seems to be attacking. Show Yourself, Spirit. Continue to hold me in Your loving arms.

April 28, 2005

Water in the Desert

Tremble, O earth at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water. Psalm 114:7-8

Why do we worry about what we will eat or drink - what we will wear - or even how we are going to pay off our bills? God can send enough water in the desert to satisfy the thirst of a million Israelites. He can most certainly provide for us in this day and age.

Lord, children are so expensive! We live in a time when there is so much opportunity. How can we ever keep it balanced? The desire to see one's children take advantage of every growth opportunity doesn't always match the ability to pay for it. Help me to trust in You. Help me to no be resentful over the inequities of fatherhood. Send us water in the desert.

May 19, 2005

When will you comfort me?

My eyes fail looking for your promise; I say, "When will you comfort me?" Psalm 119:82

The enemy knows just the right moment to attack - in the very moment we start to feel comfortable. In that moment, he knows that we are vulnerable. The more he can fool us into believing the Spirit's comfort isn't real, that it won't last, the easier it is to keep us trapped in our sin.

Lord, I am so uncomfortable tonight. Why is my spirit in such turmoil? This must be from the enemy. I feel like I am being attacked by a swarm of bees - so many thoughts, so much guilt, so much anxiety. I can't seem to shut it down; I need Your help. Don't let my eyes fail looking for Your promise.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! ...God made him who had not sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21

You have no power over me, Lucifer. Just as Jesus claimed the truth of the Word in the desert, I claim it tonight. I am a new creation. I am the righteousness of God.

Holy Spirit, comfort me. Quiet the storm. Help me to rest in the serenity of Your arms.

July 19, 2005

Poor Joshua!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Poor Joshua! Here he was, facing the greatest challenge of his life. Moses was dead. God had hand-picked him to lead the Israelites into the land promised so long ago. He must have been terrified! How could he, a mere man, face an entire country of enemies?

God knew how Joshua must have felt. Three times He told him, "Be strong and courageous." And God promised to be with him wherever he went.

I once had someone ask me to describe what it is to be whole. My answer was quick: "To be strong and courageous." I actually think I used the word confidence rather than courage, but to me, the primary attributes of wholeness - the things which I have seemed to lack the most, were the very things that Joshua was lacking. If he didn't lack strength and courage, why did God tell him three times?

Lord, if there is one thing besides sin that plagues me, it is fear. I have lived most of my life afraid of something. Most people around me would be surprised, for I have learned the fine art of wearing a mask of courage. In truth, I am afraid. Not a day goes by when I do not struggle with it. But just as You could see Joshua's heart, You see mine. There is no mask I can wear that hides the truth from You.

Help me to remember Your words: "for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Help me to be strong and courageous. I have no reason to fear, for You are always here!

About Anxiety

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The Potter's Hand in the Anxiety category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Confusion is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.31