Anxiety is that feeling that makes you have to decide to breathe in and breathe out. It makes you sick to your stomach; sometimes your head feels like it is going to explode. All you want is relief. The physical sensations desensitize you from the issues that make you anxious, and you become anxious about your inability to control your life. Eventually, anxiety can overtake your walking, breathing, and living of life. It is for just those reasons that God draws your attention in the opposite way that your anxiety directs. God boldly says:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Letting God care for you in the midst of your anxiety-causing circumstances is a giant spiritual step.
I am constantly bemused when I see this action in process. In my personal life and with those I minister to, I witness that the life-giving remedy to anxiety is knowing how much you are loved by God. It is only through His love that I am able to release the tension from my shoulders while my world is falling apart. It is an immediate relief from fear and pressure.
The best way to see how much God cares for you is to look for the gifts He gives each day. I have been keeping a list of ways I see God at work in my life every day. It helps me tune in deeper to His constant care and love.
When something is stirring up my soul so that I have lost touch with God’s care, another tool I draw on is reading the Psalms. I read for a word or phrase that shows me a new way of recognizing God’s care. My circumstances don’t change, but my state of being moves from anxiety to a deep awareness that God is bigger than any of my troubles.
I remember that I belong to God. I remember that He has taken personal responsibility for remaking me. I remember that He will never leave me or forsake me. I begin to breathe normally again. I feel rested. I find out that the worst is not the worst. I discover that God is bigger than the worst.
I need good friends in my life who remind me of God’s love and appreciation for me. I’m grateful that I have several friends who are a phone call away if I need to cry or doubt or wonder. They know God is bigger than my fears, and they remind me of who He is and what my life is all about.
The best cure for anxiety is the love and care of God. His care is free. It is powerful. It is enough. It will overflow your soul if you let it. There is absolutely no way to be overcome by anxiety when you are thinking of how much God cares for you. Imagine the embrace of God through Jesus Christ. See Him holding you close, even from the hard wood of the cross, hanging there with his right arm torn free so He can embrace you. Recognize how great a love has been lavished on you, and notice your anxiety dissipate though your circumstances remain the same.