Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ, My Health Journey

Casting All Your Anxiety…

“…And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:5-8

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I remember early on in my walk with Christ (right after my conversion), when all of my symptoms were just starting and I was having terrible anxiety and panic attacks. I didn’t know if I had some weird disease, but I felt terrible and afraid all the time. I was so afraid of death and dying that I would frequently pray that the Lord would come so I wouldn’t have to experience it. I worried about what might happen to my kids if something happened to me. I worried that if I wasn’t there holding it all together then everything would go wrong. I was afraid of the pain of death and the unknown. I couldn’t imagine what heaven might be like and that frightened me. I think I also worried that my life had been seemingly meaningless, at least that’s what I felt. I’m a little embarrassed to admit all this now, having a better understanding of God and different view of eschatology, but that is something I prayed all the time.

So what changed? A number of things. Not of my doing, but from the Lord.

  • A renewing of my mind. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
  • Overcoming unbelief.  “…I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
  • Humbling myself. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6
  • Casting my cares. “Casting all our anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
  • God is sovereign. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

These were not things I necessarily did, although I did do things like: seek the Lord, and pray (about everything!), but it was a reaction of having Christ in my life.  A result of the Holy Spirits’ work in me. It was nothing instant or immediate, but actually seemed painstakingly slow and sometimes without movement at all.

What did this mean? It meant that, my life was different than before, as well as my perception of this life.

  • I realized it’s not about me. (ouch!) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galations 2:20
  • I’m learning to love, as Christ loves. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1,2
  • I’m living in the moment. “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:14
  • Things that I once held so tightly, I loosened my grip on. “… for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12
  • I’m learning to lay it down. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16 :24,25

This is not just things I do, but who I am in Christ.  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17  Who I am becoming in and through him, which is a continual process until the day he returns. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1;6

All of these things changed how I thought about this life. Even as I love more, I hold on less to the things of this world, because they are only temporary.  “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 Understanding all of these precepts helped me worry less, and helped decrease my anxiety in general.

I no longer fear death, or eternity, so I do not need to pray about it. I know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and rejoice in that fact (2 Cor. 5:8). I still have many areas where I struggle with worry and anxiety, but I am learning, daily, to trust the Lord more. These changes in my heart and mind coincided with changes that were made in my lifestyle and diet, and resulted in good changes for my body.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7

You can read my other related post “The Noose of Anxiety” here.

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