This morning I woke up to the realization that I am afraid. I’m afraid that if I use too much water while doing the dishes I will wreck the ecosystem irreparably. I’m afraid of taking the wrong job and being miserable for a whole school year. I’m afraid I’ll forget about the meat I left to thaw in the fridge and it will go bad and I’ll waste our money and we’ll end up on the streets homeless. I’m afraid if I don’t recycle everything possible the earth will fall apart on my watch. I’m afraid I won’t be able to figure out how to use blackboard for my online classes and I’ll fail at this college thing. I’m afraid I’ve failed my family too many times and I’ll lose them because of it. I could go on, but you get the point. I worry about little things and big things and just about everything. I don’t speak these fears lest that give them credence, but I think them, and it’s quite exhausting.
Welcome to an inside look into the brain of someone who suffers from anxiety. And this is on medication! It’s a lifelong battle for me, and one I’m clearly losing in this moment.
My first thoughts this morning were worry filled. I’ve not been sleeping well because even then, my brain is still stressing out. I’ve had enough. I told God as much this morning. It was as I uttered those silent words to Him I remembered His Words to us. To me. And then it clicked. I haven’t been taking the first part of my day and spending it with Him. I’ve been lazy about that and I’m paying the price for it.
I grabbed my Bible and coffee and headed to the deck. My sanctuary. The one place in my house where I can (usually) relax enough to shut down my racing thoughts and hear Him speak peace to me. I started out in Matthew, chapter 8 verse 26 and it was all I got through. One verse. “But He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples), “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” I know the rest of the story though. Jesus told a stormy weather system to calm down, and it did.
From that one verse my whole perspective on this fear I’ve been throwing blind punches at changed. Jesus wasn’t asking them, “Why?” like we ask. With sarcasm or frustration. He knew why. He was pointing out to them why they were fearful. It was because of their little faith. As I pondered how my faith, which I would have said is normally sort-of on the strong side was so weak and now little. How does that happen? I was thinking of faith as one thing that grows. Like a child grows into an adult. But that analogy fell flat for me when I thought about how our faith ebbs and flows. Grows and then seemingly shrinks.
I then was distracted (SQUIRREL!) by our neighbors garden and my brain did it’s thing. I was worried they would be disappointed because I hadn’t checked the fence line to see if any of their cucumbers were growing on our side. They want us to take whatever we want from their garden, which is pretty awesome, but especially to pick the cucumbers that grow through the fence onto our side. I realized what I was doing and read the verse again, asking God to calm my stormy thoughts.
“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then my brain exploded with words, analogies, even a whole children’s book I could write, on the things God was showing me while I stared at that overgrown garden. Sometimes my hamster-on-a-wheel brain can get it together (with God’s help) and run in the right direction.
This post has gotten entirely too long to share everything I got this morning out of that verse and the garden , so I’ll save it for tomorrow. Just know this…no matter what our struggles are, God has something to say about it. Go grab your Bible and find out what it is!