My best friend recently gave me the book "Respectable Sins.. Confronting the Sins We Tolerate" by Jerry Bridges. You know those books that take you months to read because your world is rocked at the end of every chapter or page maybe. I knew from the title it wasn't going to be a "feel good" book for me.
Today the chapter title was "ANXIETY AND FRUSTRATION". I should have just stopped right then. But just as I encourage my patients everyday to fiercely and honestly examine their relationship with food; I must fiercely examine my own thorns and these two are pretty high up on the list. From the outside, I don't think many would consider me an overly anxious or fearful person. But those who know me best.. my parents, husband, closest friends, and my own body know I can become overridden with anxiety. In highschool, my parents spent countless hours with me at the doctor's office going through negative after negative test for stomach pains I could not seem to shake. Now, I look back at highschool and laugh and wonder what in the world was so important that got me so worked up...
For so long anxiety was something I could hide for the most part. It wasn't causing any harm (or not much) to anyone around me. And then I learned what the opposite response would be.. the response Jesus had in Matthew 26:39 when he told His dad "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; neverthless, not as I will, but as you will". The dread of His impending suffering on the cross far exceeds anything I will ever experience. Humbling to say the least.
The opposite of anxiety is trust in God. When I give way to anxiety, I am believing that God does not care for me and that He will not take care of me (or my family) in the particular circumstance that triggers my anxiety at the moment.
So often my focus is on the immediate cause of my anxiety rather than remembering that those immediate causes are under the SOVEREIGN control of God.
My anxiety is a little like a domiono effect. That worry quickly turns into frustration which eventually spins out of control to impatience, resentment, and complaining, which are not only sinful but tormenting to all involved. While my last year has been full of alot of JOY; it has been stained with impatience, resentment, and complaints. It's not that what I want so badly is bad. I believe with everything inside of me that the Lord has promised these girls to us but He has so much more than them for us. He has taught us more about Him in these last 2 years than I ever imagined.
As we see in Jesus' request to His father, an acceptance of God's sovereign and providential will does not mean we are not to pray about the outcome.
Phillipians 4:6-7 is one of the key verses we had to memorize every year in school..
"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."
So with true Thanksgiving, I understand that waiting for passports is part of His plan for my life on Novemeber 27,2012. Lord, AGAIN I say
"I believe, help my unbelief"- Mark 9:24.
But I also with great FAITH say "If it be possible, let this cup (of waiting) pass from me; neverthless, not as I will, but as you will".
What are the areas of your life that kindle anxiety, frustration, impatience, resentment, and complaining? Anxiety is not to be taken lightly or brushed off as a common response to difficult situations in a fallen world. If He doesn't take the situation away, ask what you can learn from it.