It’s the day before the day!
Less than 24 hours from now, the Serving Slovakia 2012 team will be meeting at the Portland, OR airport for our departure! There’s a LOT left to do in the 14 hours between now and when we meet at the airport. Whether it’s a mad scramble around town because the suitcase you were bringing is broken or last minute supplies for a classroom activity, not a single member of the team is “resting easy” today.
Amazingly, it turns out the New Heights website just had a new entry specifically about anxiety under its Notes from New Heights section:
Is Anxiety A Bad Thing?
July 03, 2012
I have a confession to make. I am anxious. Yup, I said it. I am anxious. I know it’s not “Christian” of me, but there it is. I know Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” But when I’m anxious and I hear those words I feel like a failure because anxiety seems like a faucet that I can’t turn off.
The other day I stopped to think, “What would really help me to not be anxious?” It happens the thing I’m anxious about is out of my control. If I can’t do anything to help the situation, how could I turn off the anxiety?
Overthinking the problem wasn’t helping. Trying to pray about it wasn’t helping, because I was just replaying it instead of handing it over to God. That’s when God’s voice broke through, telling me to get my eyes off the situation and look at Him. He began to remind me of some things I’ve read about Him:
- He rescues us and protects us and delivers us and honors us (Psalm 91)
- He delights in us (Psalm 18)
- He is faithful to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7)
- He generously pours out His Spirit on us (Titus 3)
- He adopted us (Romans 8)
That was the answer to my anxiety problem. Focusing on Who God is and who I am to Him made all the difference. So yeah, I get anxious sometimes. But it’s something God can use to draw me into His presence – and that is a very good thing.
So, whether it’s the nagging thought that you’ll leave something behind, the fear of overseas travel, or just general unease, Philippians 4:6 provides a solution to all of our worries:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:7 shows us God’s response:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As we begin this servant experience, may we each be reminded that the Lord works from the inside, out. His will and love must first be at work in our own lives before we can hope to show that same love to others.
Father God, please help. Help me to stop worrying. Help me to care for others. Help me to have a servant’s heart. But most importantly, help me to give up control. Only once I have surrendered all to You can I truly serve those with whom I will interact. Though our time in Slovakia is short, through You our impact may be long-term. You are the One who Is, the One who Was, and the One who will forever Be. Please, keep me humble and let the light of Your love shine through.