Kick Anxeity To The Curb

I've been anxious to write about something on my heart lately, and that topic is anxeity (pun intended). I've noticed anxeity weighing on way too many of our lives, some to a larger degree than others. I recognize that for some, anxiety is a diagnosed mental health concern but I'm referring to the worries we all struggle with.
It's almost like the world is in a constant state of anxeity. Anxeity has become the norm. Rather than anxious thoughts and behaviors being occasional waves in the calm waters of our lives; we're living in white water rapids where anxeity is continually floating to the surface and we're always jibing our lives to accommodate for it.

Anxeity can be defined as "a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome." An uncertain outcome. Hmmm. So we worry about the outcome of situations. We worry that we're going to get hurt; emotionally or physically. We worry that we're not good enough. We worry about what other people are going to think. We worry if we're going to have enough money. We worry about what we're going to eat. We worry if we're making the right choices.
We fear the unknown. 
The problem with this mistaken system is that the future is not unknown. God did not create you to live life in worry and fear. By worrying, you are limiting God. You are putting a cap on how fervently He is going to guide you, protect you, and love you. As a child of God, you were created to live in peace and joy and love. "The Kindgom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but out of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17. As a resident of the Kingdom of Heaven you were given incredible gifts. Gifts of the Prince of Peace and the strength of the Holy Spirit. Why is it that you let these good gifts go to waste by spending your time doing anything but thriving off of the Giver himself? Let God's promises shine light on your pain.
Ya'll, in 1 Corinthians Paul defines for us what love (aka, God) is. "It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:7-8. Let me paraphrase. God always protects. You must always trust. You must always hope. You must always persevere. God never fails. God loves you so much and it hurts Him to see you doubting that He cares for you as profoundly as He does. I absolutely love this quote from the book "The Shack," by William Young, "You were created to be loved. So for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation...Living unloved is like clipping a bird's wings and removing its ability to fly. Not something I want for you." Guys, God's got it and He wants you to live in confidence of that.
In Matthew 6: 25-34, Jesus calls us out on our faith. He reminds us that God cares for the birds of the sea and the flowers in the field, and yet we doubt that He will take care of us. You fear that the One who created you, is not going to continue to take care of you. Dig into Genesis 1 - When God created plants, it says "He was pleased with what He saw." (verse 12) When God created animals, it says "He was pleased with what He saw." (verses 21 and 25) Guys, when God created humans, it says "He was very pleased." (verse 31) God is very pleased with you. He is satisfied with you. You are valuable to Him. How much more is He going to care for you?
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10. When you live in fear, you live in doubt of who Jesus is. You compromise your faith into meager human standards. You diminish the very divine character of God.
In talking about anxeity, I'm reminded of the story of Martha. In Luke 10 Jesus tells Martha, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one." Martha was stressed about many things as she strived to get her house in perfect condition for Jesus to come over for a meal, that she forgot about Jesus' priorities. Her worries choked the growth of the seed of her actual relationship with Jesus. Martha allowed outward activities to hinder her spiritually.  God doesn't want us to be distracted with anxious thoughts because they separate us from Him - and in the end all He wants is to love you and for you to grow in a relationship with Him.
Anxious thoughts begin when you start to live apart from God. Apart from the tree, a branch is weak. You've cut off its source of nutrients, its source of life. "If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned." John 15:6. I'm not sure about you, but I would rather be a branch that is thriving and sustained by deep roots in Christ rather than a branch that is cut off and thrown in the fire. When you catch yourself worrying, it's time to go back to Jesus because everlasting peace and joy come from abiding in Jesus. 
Jesus advised us ahead of time that there are going to be struggles while we are on earth. Like in Matthew when He tells us, "Nations will rise agains nations...there will be famines and earthquakes" Matthew 24:7. From the beginning of time, humans chose free will, which no matter how incredibly awesome that is, it also means that we have to undergo the consequences when we get ourselves stuck into a pit of anxiety/worry/fear. You can choose to wallow into a chasm of destruction, or you can choose to live free from the stress of watching His already written story unfold. Yes, whatever you're going through, God has already completed that chapter, put the pen down and is now walking along side you as you go through this yourself.
The most wonderful reality about all of this is that He has already readily given us the glorious conclusion. He has comforted us with the knowledge that one day there will be no more pain, worry, destruction, impatience, fear, etc. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. What a soul refreshing concept!
If I could personally offer one tip for when anxiety knocks on your door, it is to pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer and always remember that prayer will take you much further than worrying will. Trust your unknown future to a known God. 

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