anxiety that surpasses understanding

I feel like kids get a bad rap. Young children are known for asking “why?” It’s real, though. There is an episode of my daughter’s favorite show, “Bluey”, where the main character asks her parents “why?” over and over. Her parents follow the trail, and give her an answer for each “why?” and it is never-ending. My daughter thinks this is how all of our conversations should be, and she thinks it’s hilarious. I do not. I have to remind her often that Bluey is a cartoon and our life is real life and I am not as patient as Bluey’s mom is!

To be fair to kids, though, the truth is that we never stop asking why. Whether we actually use the word out loud or (more often than not) roll it around repeatedly in our heads, we want to understand. We think that if we can get to the bottom of why something is happening, maybe we’ll feel better about it.

If you are new here, I was made aware that I had been struggling with anxiety four years ago. It had been there for much longer, I just wasn’t able to put a name to it. And I ran from it. Because I didn’t like who it turned me into. Who I became. How it twisted my view of Jesus. So instead of facing it, I turned and ran. And we all know how that goes.

With the healing hand of Jesus and the gift of a wonderful therapist, I have been healed from anxiety. It is a story too long for a blog post. Until that point, though, I had become complacent and content; kind of always believing that anxiety would just be a forever part of my life. I enjoyed connecting with others, still being in process. Oh, I’m still in process. But Jesus made it clear to me that He was ready to close that chapter for me. And I have chosen to believe Him.

Jesus is so unpredictable when it comes to healing. We never know how or when. We believe that because of His blood, our freedom and our healing was purchased once and for all. But we continue to walk through such turmoil here on earth. Some of it we bring upon ourselves, if we’re honest. Some if it has nothing to do with us. It’s just life.

There are so many verses in the Bible about anxiety. Releasing fear. Trusting God.

There’s one in particular that seems a little more well-known. It’s the verse that plagued me, actually. I prayed it. I believed it. And I didn’t understand why I was still so anxious. I’m sure you’ve heard it.

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 minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

We pray for this and we talk about it a lot. Peace that transcends human understanding.

You know what we don’t talk about?

Anxiety also goes beyond our understanding.

We know that anxiety is not of God. Fear is not from Him.

The reason why anxiety is so infuriating is that for most of us, it doesn’t make sense. Sure, we can probably track the origin of our attacks back to a moment or a fear. But the racing thoughts, the shaky hands, the ridiculous irritability or seeming lack of breath – it somehow goes beyond rational thought. If we could make sense of it, maybe it wouldn’t be happening.

Anxiety is the enemy’s counterfeit to God’s peace.

Anxiety is beyond rationality.
It traps us with no concrete reasons.
Anxiety screams: SOMETHING IS WRONG! When in reality, nothing may be wrong at all.

In a similar way, Peace can’t be explained away. It doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it brings us to the Person of Jesus who is our Savior and Redeemer.

The crippling feeling of anxiety also can’t be explained. Sure, psychologists have given it language and symptoms to track. But when you are in that moment of panic or that unrelenting out-of-control feeling, explanations don’t mean anything to settle our hearts.

Satan is the father of lies. He births them. He crafts them. When you boil it all down, what makes you anxious?

God created me to be very empathetic. I feel others’ emotions. Their pain, their happiness… I’ve been gifted with some discernment and insights to things that aren’t always obvious. These are gifts that my God crafted for me as He knitted me together.

And for every gift in my personality from God, the enemy of the world finds a way to create a counterfeit. He imitates the best parts of me and twists them for darkness. He says, “Oh, you have empathy for others? Take on their burdens until it drowns you. Find a way to fix everything around you so that everyone turns to you as their savior instead of Jesus. Hide out in shame because of the weight that’s on you that no one will ever know about. Oh, you feel like you can’t breathe? Good. You can’t worship without breath.”

It is not an accident that both peace and anxiety go beyond rationality or human understanding. They both settle deep within; in our hearts and our bodies, beyond logic. There is one difference.

One is of God. One is not.

One benefits you. The other does not.

Although they are both very real, only one leads to Truth.

What may be very real in your life isn’t necessarily the Truth. Truth is a Person, not an intangible idea.

Listen. If I read this blog even a year ago, it would make me angry. I was working hard on accepting anxiety as a part of what I was working through and processing through very real and practical ways to manage it. And it was so necessary. I let Jesus into that process, and found more freedom than I had known in my life.

So if you are struggling with anxiety in any way and you have not yet allowed a professional to help walk you through ways to find freedom, now is your time. Don’t wait any longer. Don’t wait until you feel too far and you don’t have a choice anymore. Seek help now.

But whether you have received help or not, there is more with Jesus. Have you succumbed to the idea that you will simply walk through life experiencing anxiety that transcends understanding? It is the exact cheap imitation of true Peace. The Peace that exceeds our understanding. It may not make sense, but it’s true.

The truth is that a blog post does not solve your heartache, your panic attacks, your unsettled spirit.

Believe it or not, God is not afraid of your “why?”. He is patient, and willing to listen to every question, no matter how many times you’ve asked. However, He doesn’t always answer our why questions, does he? How many times have we asked God “why?” without ever really getting an answer? But I can tell you what He will answer every single time.

“How?”

We may need to give up our desire to understand to truly find the freedom we’re looking for. Our God is our Guide, our Counselor, and our Father. He waits on the edge of His seat to lead you into paths of His righteousness. If you ask, He will not withhold ways to find freedom.

And He will always, always point you to a Who.

He is the answer. We aren’t saved by our understanding. We are saved by a Person.

“You draw near to those who call out to you,
listening closely, especially when their hearts are true.
Every godly one receives even more than they ask for.
For you hear what their hearts really long for,
and you bring them your saving strength.”
Psalm 145:18-19 TPT

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