Saturday, October 04, 2008

anxiety

We live in a troubled world where trouble and death are inevitable. We want to live out full lives, but in doing so we experience all the good and bad that comes with getting older and aging.

A difficult aspect that hits me at sometimes inopportune times - and really is any time opportune for this? - are what some would call "anxiety attacks" or bouts with anxiety. Those around me may not notice it, but it eats from the inside out and thus affects my life. I let something get through to me last weekend before I dealt with it a day late by meditating on and trying to live out this passage. And soon after being up this morning I experienced an old nemesis to me which renewed anxiety in regard to it.

Life goes on and God keeps me busy with this and that, which thankfully can be helpful. And we must endeavor to live out God's revealed will for us in Jesus in this world, and a large part of that is how we negotiate troubles. Do we do so as those looking to God in Jesus, and putting our hope on his promises?

It's good that we are tempted like everyone else, because God can use our failures for much good, as we share with others God's forgiveness and help to us in Jesus. And as we learn to walk by faith better in this fallen world of trouble, we can be a help to others who see us do so.

What is worse than what we worry about, is our actual worry itself. Being anxious means I'm not trusting God. And that causes a break in fellowship between us and God. When anxieties arise they are opportunities for us to commit ourselves to trusting in the Lord with all our hearts and entrusting our lives into his good and loving hands.

What about you? What would you like to share with us that can help us with anxiety?

8 comments:

NaNcY said...

in my experience it was coupled with depression. if one can go about the daily tasks, i would not rule out getting a check up, but, for starters, i would say to cut out coffee drinking, excess alcohol consumption, and cut way back on white sugar in the diet, get some exercise, talk to God, believe in what Jesus Christ said He is, listen to the Spirit, rest in God, PRAISE GOD for everything...and ask for HIs will to be done in your life.

and if you can not make it through the day, if you are curled up in a ball on the floor, if you have to crawl through your house...you might want to consider taking an antidepressant, which is what i had to do. and i do not know if i will ever live without taking it...it is an unanswered question.

there is no one answer for everyone. i can understand your pain to a certain degree. but, since i am not experience your unique pain...i can not understand fully. but, God can...and God is there with you through it all.
you can trust in that. He will not leave you.

NaNcY said...

i mean the Holy Spirit, of course.

also, i remember walking up and down my driveway, not being able to go into the house, not being able to sleep and feeling like my skin felt all tense and weird and awful. other things i do not really want to recall here. but.

it can start with just a small bit of anxiety.

eat good food, and do not live on coffee.

it can be a terrible place, like a very deep pit of darkness.

this quote by corrie ten boom is good to remember.

"No pit is so deep that the love of God is not deeper still."

if you are not to bad and can read, read the word of God.

praise God.

Every Square Inch said...

I can be often tempted to anxiety or despair myself. Somehow positive thinking doesn't work for me unless I have a basis for positive thoughts - that's why your reliance on scripture is so good. It's the only lasting antidote to sinful worry

Lanny said...

Not much more to add here other than another personal experience and an amen to the scripture passage you cite here. The other scripture that helped me personally was Luke 22:31-32"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

When my eyes lit on the words "But I have prayed for you" it took the whole "God cares for me personally" to a whole new level. That Jesus should care enough to pray for a wretch and one who has denied his Divine Friend, it bathed(s) me in a healing balm.

I had to take prozac for a year, but I never ended up stepping out in front of that logging truck, I was able to get my brain chemistry straightened out when exercise, good eating and such for a good solid six months couldn't undo the fetal position that I was in figuratively during the day and literally at night and in the morning. I was incredibly good at keeping my friends from seeing because once I was physically up I had a smile on my face and for the most part a good word and a kind deed to give to others, even though I was entertaining possible ways to evaporate myself from earth.

Pray without ceasing soon became a reality to me not just a Christian ideal. I turned the constant conversations that played in my head, you know the ones where you redo old conversations so that you say the right thing this time or the endless anticipated conversations so that you will actually say the right thing, into conversations with God. I invited him to listen to my ideas, my thoughts. The outcome was amazing. That coupled with going to sleep to praises in my ears (music) an on my tongue. Straight up praises, not petitions. (I left those for the light of day where Satan had even less power.) It was amazing to me that I woke up with those same praises being the first thing to cross my conscience brain.

All that said I do believe that some of us are gifted with sorrow for mankind. One of the reasons that I have determined not to rely on medication unless my brain chemistry gets out of whack. I read some of the Bible, the prophets, and I identify with the pain they not only see but obviously feel when they speak of God's people being adulterous toward their Very God. I truly believe that it is a gift and ought to be exercised as any other gift, that we not only accept but look forward to. However, it must be exercised when God calls us to it for His purpose. When we become maudlin, constantly introspective and morbid,idlely intellectualizing everything, that is not of God and must be carefully guarded against. Unfortunately that is a difficult one to call, for ourselves not to mention for others. We can never really know or understand how much, how deep, God calls us to His work and away from ourselves, what we think a "good" life looks like.

just thinking

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Really good stuff there. Thanks.

I guess I really don't consider my anxiety as anything really extraordinary, just more the nuisance kind which can get to any of us at times. Not too much a part of my depression I've battled against, from what I can tell.

I do think the faith factor is important. I tend not to put much stock on my feelings, one way or another.

But thanks for all you say here. Cutting back on caffeine wouldn't be a bad idea for me.

Ted M. Gossard said...

And good quote on the love of God as well as noting the importance of staying in God's word.

Thanks again, Nancy.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Amen. I so much agree. In the end it's a matter of trust, of trusting all in the Lord's hands.

At the same time, it does seem there's a complexity of factors involved in the low emotional ebbs in our lives.

Welch's book on depression is quite good in tackling all of this, with a good emphasis on Scripture, of course.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny,
I like what you say here, and reminds me of what I was earlier thinking in regard to this posting and anxiety. We're called to have the same mind/attitude as Jesus had, and if we're in the work of God for others, we won't be so taken up about ourselves and our troubles.

I also concur in that my depression is such that I can handle it without meds, I think. They had their side effects, one of which I couldn't even weep. Now I don't weep at all like I used to, which actually, I think, was unhealthy and overboard. But I do feel pain and sorrow easily and I see that as a gift, at least up to a point, and generally speaking.

Thanks for sharing from your story to us. Great to hear of God's help and work of grace in your life. Encouraging.