Psalms 94:19 When anxiety fills my soul, your consolation brings me joy.
John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid.
Friends, we don't have to be anxious. This may sound crazy to you. Maybe you don't believe me, because you have felt controlled by the monster of anxiety for too long. But God gave us a gift- a gift of peace- one of the best and most beautiful gifts He could ever give us. And because of this gift, we don't have to be troubled or afraid anymore. We just have to accept His gift and choose to live in faith of His promises.
Flying back into the states, meeting friends and family, contacting my job again.. I welcomed myself home to a "to-do list", to a calendar, a planner, an agenda for my time, I re-united with my love-hate friend "Productivity". I began to think about all the things I wanted to do, and needed to do. Yet unfortunately a familiar and unwelcome feeling began to emerge inside and this feeling was called anxiety. And it beckoned me to feel it, and to live captivated by it once gain. Anxiety quickened my heartbeat, shortened my conversations, and threatened to destroy my inner peace.
It's funny friends, because I could count the number of times on one hand that I experienced feelings of anxiousness in Kenya. It wasn't a common feeling. Other negative feelings: depression, anger, hurt, discontentment, boredom, sure. But anxiety? Not really. I believe the reason why I was almost never anxious was because the life I lived in Kenya was SLOW to every meaning of the word. I had no anxiety about getting things done, but instead tried to savor each moment of the presence.
Yet coming back to the states the desire to be productive, to fulfill, to make gains and money is back- which is a fast life. Most of my friends tell me "I'm busy" and "I'm stressed". Coming back from Kenya- a life of slowness, presence, and peace- I don't want to transition back into the "rat race" we call life. Yet I definitely feel tempted by the expectations I have already put on myself to get healthier, lose weight, make more friends, make more money, work harder ect. As I name these expectations though, my chest tightens, that enemy anxiety comes a little bit too close.
And Jesus whispers to me, Come to me again. Remember that I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. Choose my ways. Choose to be slow and still, even when the world is pushing to rush past you. Choose my quiet voice. Choose peace.
And I challenge you friends, that for you too, Jesus is calling. Quiet your heart, quiet your doubts, find consolation in His love and promises. Because we friends, don't have to live like the rest of the world. We can have peace.
Horation Spafford in the midst of tragedy, after watching his business be burnt by a fire and his four daughters die from a shipwreck, chose to find peace in God's promises. He chose to deny anxiety- the feeling of self-protection and struggle of selfishness to win back what he had lost- and instead sang a praise to God. "It is well" he sang. "It is well with my soul" because I know the Lord Jesus and His peace, I will sing "It is well with my soul."