What happens next? I dare you to move…
“Dave! Get up!”
Welcome to the fallout, welcome to resistance…
“Don’t worry, I’m right here. I promise.”
Switchfoot may not be the most spiritual Christian band to ever hit the contemporary Christian music planet, but I tell you what, some of their songs are challenging. A certain topic has been at the surface of my life since I got out here to Colorado, that is anxiety. It has been exactly one week, and already it feels like a lifetime. There has been a hefty battle going on, a war raging in my daily life ready to consume me and snuff me out.
Anxiety, according to Wikipedia, is: a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is ‘to vex or trouble’; in either the absence or presence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness and dread. Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to a stressor. It may help a person to deal with a difficult situation by prompting one to cope with it. When anxiety becomes excessive, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.
That is quite a definition. I however have another definition for it, that I am sure is far from original: complete unreliance on the providence of God; allowing our own fears and troubles to become greater than the plan God has for our lives. How’s that?
This has been the sole trip tactic Satan has used against me since I have moved to Colorado. For most of my life I have struggled with depression, and it has resulted in some ugly scenarios. I learned a couple years ago, however, that depression is something we allow to come in and consume us. When I allow life to drag me down to a depressed state, then my anxiety kicks in and I flail around to regain control. The result is utter chaos, poor decisions, and I lose all focus on God who is right there the whole time, just waiting for me to invite Him to take control.
In the past week, I have been on the defensive so much against such attacks that it has made me weak. It would be so much easier to give in and wallow in my troubles. Countless times now, God has told me to let go and surrender these anxieties. Not an easy task, let me tell you. Now I could easily let go and sit back, but that is not the answer either. That is where God comes along side me and assures me that not only is He fighting my battle even when I can’t, He is also there walking with me every step of the way, BUT I have to move! He is right there daring me, encouraging me, prodding me to just move and walk in the unforced rhythms of grace He has so carefully set into place.
This is not just some cozy idea, folks. This is war. This is reality. This is cold, hard facts. Jesus told us to take His yolk upon our backs and walk with Him. No where did He say it would be an easy task, but He promises it is easier than doing it on out own, bearing our own yolk (Matthew 11).
All this sounds like it should be so easy, and I wish it was. But, it is not. It takes a conscious effort, discipline, prayer, and a willingness to surrender. No where does our personal pride have any room to exist. A secure life in Christ does not consist of us living for Him until we feel good again, but being willing to keep Him as our focus in the good an the bad. Honestly, blessings in our lives can be just as damaging as the anxieties. If we lose our focus on the call of Christ, the good and the bad can be detrimental to our souls. Again, I cannot say this enough, surrender of every area, even the good areas is crucial to our Christian health.
Those are my thoughts for the day. It is sobering to think about, but the joy and contentment that comes as a result is well worth it. In no way have I mastered or achieved the ultimate. It is a daily path I trek, and I am learning more every day.