He says, “Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you.
I have called you by name, and you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you cross rivers, you will not drown.
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned,
nor will the flames hurt you. Isaiah 43: 1-2 (NCV)
Though there are certain things that I tend to worry about periodically, I have never really considered myself to be an anxious person. When I became a believer, I really held onto Christ’s teachings about worry that can be found in Matthew 6. Pretty early on in my walk with Christ, I found I had choices to make that would really test my faith in God, and in His ability to care for me and keep me safe.
When it was just me, I had little problem keeping anxiety to a minimum. I regularly tried new things, met new people, and went on new adventures. Despite the ups and downs of life, I was rarely concerned with the potential misfortunes that could theoretically come my way. For the most part I wasn’t reckless, there just was very little in the way that made me fearful about taking risks.
And, then I had kids.
Having children makes everything scary seem a little more real, a little closer to home. When I hear of earthquakes and tsunamis and tornadoes and untamable fires…when I learn about shootings in schools and bombings at marathons…when I am told of accidents and illnesses that cheat life or see a wall filled with pictures of missing children…when I read on the web a constant barrage of bad news, often in the guise of prayer requests (my own included)…I am easily overwhelmed with the horrifying world I live in.
The enemy likes to taunt me with images in my minds eye, distressing imaginations of could-be dangers to my daughters. There have been times that I have been able to shrug off these torments by simply checking on my daughters, making sure they are still breathing, still alive. But at other times, when I let my guard down, I have unwittingly allowed myself to be provoked to the point of borderline panic causing me to lose control, lashing out with words of fear at the prospect of a plunge off the second-story porch or nearly mashing fingers to prevent little legs from darting into the road.
As I embrace my role as mother, I realize that I have to make a conscience choice each day to cast my cares at His feet (as cliché as that may sound) and enter into new stages of ‘letting go’. In order to keep my anxieties to a minimum, I must keep my focus on Christ and what He did for me and for my daughters on the cross at Calvary. The reality is that Jesus loves my girls way more than I will ever be able to.
All that I am, praise the Lord;
everything in me, praise his holy name.
My whole being, praise the Lord
and do not forget all his kindnesses.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He saves my life from the grave
and loads me with love and mercy.
He satisfies me with good things
and makes me young again, like the eagle.
The Lord does what is right and fair
for all who are wronged by others.
Psalm 103:1-6 (NCV)
If I am feeling particularly uneasy about some aspect of life, whether it pertains to me, my daughters, or any other conceivable circumstance, when I focus on worshiping my Savior for being holy, for being good, it is so much easier to set aside my fears and keep my eyes on the future that has been promised (Jeremiah 29:11-14). In times of worry, I delve into the Psalms, taking comfort in David’s faith in God and being encouraged by his celebrations of the Father’s trustworthiness and constancy. When I put my whole heart into praising the Lord, there is no part of me that is free to be anxious and I am compelled to remember His kindness.
Yesappa, when fears and concerns creep into my daily life, help me focus on You instead of my anxiety. Remind me of Your everlasting love, Your never-ending mercy. Encourage me with Your Word. Strengthen me. Thank You for being my Rock and my Salvation. Thank You for having my back. And, Thank You for watching out for my babies. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.