Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
The topic of anxiety and worry is a fresh one for me. I both feel like I have something to offer on the topic, yet not because I still don't have a solid solution for handling my own worry.
But I have definitely learned a lot over the previous months about how to cope with it.
I think we believe that when the Bible tells us not to worry, we will never encounter thoughts of anxiety. I just don't think that's true. I believe the key is to taking those thoughts and those anxieties captive before they become crippling.
As someone who has just come out of a time of anxiety due to the delay and uncertainty in our adoption process, the experience is still fresh in my mind.
When I allowed my anxious thoughts to take hold, they lead my down the road of "What if...". My worries would only grow from a fantasy I'd created in my own mind. I was anxious about nothing!
But, I found when I would capture those thoughts and replace them with God's truth, His peace would follow. It seriously felt like a switch went off on anxiety and went on with peace. You know, that peace that surpassing all understanding? Paul wasn't kidding about that!
Trusting God with our worries acts as a shield around our hearts. It protects us from worry and fear. Fear is a poisonous weapon for the enemy and it can be used to control us. Do not be controlled by fear.
Prayer is powerful in releasing our worries to God. We show Him that we trust Him with our lives and those lives around us. I worried a lot for our girls in Africa, who wondered and asked weekly, when we were coming back for them. I worried they wouldn't trust us or would lose hope.
But God has them in the palm of His hands. Did I really think that I was the only one who cared for them? Who wanted the best for them?
When I focused on how God had revealed Himself to us in various ways throughout the whole of our adoption, it really helped me recognize that He truly was in charge, and having Him in charge is a wonderful place to be!
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I am using Elizabeth George’s Philippians study, “Experiencing God’s Peace“.