what we need for our anxiety (spoiler: it isn’t peace.)

photo-1496267472830-2eb2b7e0942dCan I be honest?

I’m sick of reading about the Coronavirus. I’m tired of hearing about quarantine. I’m tired of writing about it. I’m weary of hearing the word anxiety – and I’m certainly exhausted from feeling it myself.

I want to write about something fresh and new… but guys, this is where we are. We are in the most bizarre time of our life. I don’t know about you, but my mind is insane. In some moments, I feel so thankful I could cry. What a gift it is to have this time with my family. I’m so grateful. And then ten minutes later, I’m honestly wondering if I’m going to make it through or if this is ever going to end.

Am I alone?

I’ve been contemplating anxiety a whole lot as it relates to Jesus’ plan for our life. And I believe we’ve all been told that what we need in place of our anxiety is peace, right? Makes sense. Anxiety is fear and worry, and peace is the absence of both of those things.

But here’s the the thing. The truth about what Jesus says about His peace: He has already given it to us. Peace feels like something we have to fight for, doesn’t it?

I just think we’re missing something. We are fighting hard for something that already belongs to us. If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, you have all that He is. And He Himself is our peace. His peace is freely offered.

Anxiety begins in one place, doesn’t it? In our mind. Yes, we absolutely feel it in our body. Our hearts are shaken by its effects. But it all originates in one place. Our thoughts.

I wonder if we are fighting for the wrong thing. We panic and ask for peace. But there’s more that Jesus is offering us; but this time, He tells us to ask. Ask Him for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” [James 1:5]

Let’s be really honest here. Anxiety is irrational. Fear is very real, but anxiety twists our rational fears into completely blown up “what-if?” scenarios.

Anxiety screams, “SOMETHING IS WRONG!” when the truth is, everything is okay.

Anxiety settles heavy and convinces us, “YOU CAN’T BREATHE!” as you take air in and out of your lungs.

We need peace, absolutely.

But we need wisdom. Proverbs 2 spells it out for us:

“Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.

Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.

Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.

Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, 

and you will gain knowledge of God.

For the Lord grants wisdom! 

Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.

Wise choices will watch over you.

Understanding will keep you safe.”

Our anxiety needs to be overshadowed by wisdom. The Bible refers to insight and understanding as treasure. A sound mind is valuable. Wisdom protects us. Keeps us safe. From our enemy and from ourselves.

Wisdom gives us perspective.

Wisdom grounds us back to reality.

Wisdom and fear cannot coincide.

Wisdom diffuses anxiety.

We need more than just comfort for our hearts. We need a sound mind. We need rational thoughts. We need truth.

Instead of fighting for peace as if it alludes us, let’s accept what is rightfully ours because of the sacrifice of Jesus. We have complete access to the One who is peace Himself.

This same Savior, who brought punishment on Himself so that we might have peace, is begging us to ask for wisdom. He can’t wait to give it to us.

There’s no other way to end this post than praying together for wisdom. I’m in it with you. I desperately want insight and understanding, so my mind doesn’t lie to me anymore.

God,

Today, we accept your peace. We confess that it is not something we can earn or live up to. It is a gift we have access to through your Spirit who lives in us. You tell us to ask for wisdom, so here we are. Our minds are racing and creating scenarios in our heads. Our thoughts are relaying emotions to our brains, and our bodies are reacting. We’re tired. We’re anxious. We need you. We need a sound mind. We need the Truth. We need understanding. You are the only One who has everything we need. 

So we surrender our anxious thoughts, our questions, and our own ideas of how we think things should go. Help us to think clearly. Give us understanding and insight and a sound mind. God, we trust that you have all that we need, and you are a Good Father who gives it to us when we ask. You alone are our safe place. Save us from ourselves. Rescue us on the terms of your promise. You alone are good.

Amen

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