I want to share about something that’s been on my mind lately and that is the root (or reason) for our fears and anxiousness. At one point or another, in my life, I have felt nervous, anxious or afraid. Lately I’ve been feeling this “brace for impact” type of feeling. This anxiousness about what life is going to be like when everything starts up again and is open and running. I have this voice in my head almost saying, “What’s next? What do I have to do now? You have to be doing something!” This feeling that I’m not going to be able to handle what’s coming.
At some point in your lives I’m sure you’ve felt this same way. Maybe there was a major life change that happened and it put you into a really nervous state. Maybe the thought of doing new things makes you really afraid? The good news is you’re not alone! It’s actually very human to be afraid. The disciples were real people (like us) and they lived, breathed, and walked with Jesus – sometimes I forget that! Jesus proved Himself to be who He said He was so many times and yet the disciples still became nervous or scared when thing would happen that they didn’t expect.
As evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion. The disciples woke Him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” They asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey Him!“Mark 4:35-41
—the disciples felt extremely afraid and were still afraid when Jesus calmed the storm.
Right now, a lot of the world is feeling what the disciples must’ve felt like in this storm. We didn’t expect this virus to get this bad (at least I didn’t) and we didn’t expect our plans to be cancelled without anything to tell us when life is going back to normal. I’ve asked the Lord so many times: why are we so afraid of the unknown? Why does the thought of something new make us anxious? Why do storms scare us?
Because we don’t have control! We have this humanly desire to need control over parts of our lives – if not all of it! When things we don’t expect come our way we come to the realization that we are not in control anymore and that is kind of scary! In an attempt to gain control again it might make people react in ways that seem irrational or almost crazy.. But the root of our feat is almost always the realization that we are not in control.
But there is more good news – we never had control in the first place! Yes, God gave us free-will to choose between right and wrong but He never meant for us to carry this burden of obsession and control. From the beginning of time that has always been God’s job. Our job was to trust that He is good and that He knows what’s best for us.
So what now? If you take one thing from all of this please know that God is for you. Even when everything feels like it’s falling apart or not going how you would like to to be – He saw the beginning, He sees the end of time, and He says that He will take care of you. We just have to trust Him because we are still His and His plains for us are still good.
This is what I do when I feel anxious or afraid:
- Ask God what is making me so afraid, nervous, or anxious?
- Say (out loud) things that are true and from His word; even if I don’t believe it in the moment!
- Pray and ask Jesus for peace and/or bravery.
- Repeat as many times as it takes! It might feel like a battle but trust me, God and love will always win.
- Sometimes I’ll talk to someone who loves the Lord and I feel comfortable sharing with. Talking with someone I love when I still feel anxious because God gave us friends and family for a reason.
If they love you they are also for you!
– Renee Friesen