So I got news yesterday that concerned me. No, more than concern. It brought worry and anxiety. My mind raced eighteen steps ahead in my worst-case-scenario storyline. It was not pretty.
I haven’t had anxiety for a long time, other than a single moment a few weeks ago. But that flash of anxiety was just that – a flash, momentary. It lasted long enough for me to recognize it, but my thoughts immediately turned to God’s truth, and the anxiety was gone – snap! – that fast.
This time, it’s lingering. I’m worried about something in the future that I can’t control. That’s where anxiety looks – ahead. Depression looks back. This is why it’s so important to stay in the current moment – so as not to entertain anxiety (future worry) or depression (past regrets).
Anyway, this fear for a future moment is for an inevitable event; I just don’t know when. And the not-knowing scares me.
Anxiety presents itself in my body in both my belly and my lungs. My stomach feels hollow, and it’s hard to catch my breath. It’s a physical reaction to an emotional response. My stomach hurts and I can’t breathe.
I hugged my husband tonight when he got home, and told him I was scared – he didn’t even ask about what. He knows what worries me, even though I’ve been careful not to dwell on the future or even express it. As if expressing it out loud could make it happen – which it can’t.
The sermon on Sunday was about peace. I’ll go back and review my notes, because I need them right now. I need the peace that Jesus brings. He says, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!” John 14:27 (TPT)
In other places in God’s Word, it says:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (NASB)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
I was thinking about that word “guard.” God’s peace will guard my heart and my mind – will protect it, keep it from being attacked by outside forces. By anxious thoughts.
At this time of year, we celebrate that Jesus came as a baby. The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
May He reign in my heart and yours. Right now. Because we all need His Peace.