By: Chloe Grabeman
Lately, I’ve been going stir crazy in my surrounding flatlands. I crave hills and valleys. So, last week I took a trip to my mountain covered promise land – Tennessee.
But for a number of reasons, this wasn’t a normal visit.
In my departure and journey in, I unknowingly picked up a little companion, his name was Anxiety.
He would grow and fade depending on the situation, but Anxiety never left the room.
This unfamiliar territory of worry led me to constant prayer as I tried to stifle his effect on me. But as I drove back from an encouraging meeting in Chattanooga, my little hitchhiker seemed to immerse himself into every crack and crevasse of my car.
He had a new name now – Dread.
Call it a panic attack, a spiritual attack – whatever fits your fancy; but Dread was now constricting me so much I couldn’t find a full breath.
Panic, terror, and crippling fear weighed down on my shoulders like a heavy wet blanket suffocating me with their menacing whispers.
However, my fervent prayers for deliverance never came.
So, I ask you, what happens when the anxiety can’t be prayed away?
This is a sensitive topic so I’m treading carefully, but I want to shed some light on God’s algorithm against anxiety.
Philippians 4:6-7 states:
It’s so easy to only hear the victory in these verses, the peace that surpasses all understanding. But in doing so, we miss three important details – the battle, the God, and the practice.
1. The Battle
These words weren’t meant to be perceived only as good news. If God’s peace is meant to guard our hearts and minds, we must remember there’s an enemy on the other side. This is the battle plan as well as the victory cry.
- The God
So often we see anxiety as something God doesn’t want to hear about, and when its grasp fails to loosen, this verse can be a source of shame and discouragement. But God has no interest in you hiding your anxiety. He says “in everything” present your requests to him. This peace was meant for all who are anxious. He delights in meeting your brokenness with his strength.
- The Practice
It wasn’t until Dread followed me the next day, riding shotgun to Knoxville, that the final instructions of Godly thought meant anything to me.
Philippians 4:8-9 states:
One word stood out to me – practice.
Peace requires practice.
It didn’t come entirely at once – not at all; but over time as I began to ponder what is true, what is lovely, what is worthy of praise in my life, the whispers of Dread started to silence. I could breathe again and soon I was filled with the most indescribable unforgettable joy I’ve ever experienced.
Peace is a weapon against anxiety freely given to us. But like all effective weapons, it must be welded, sharpened, and practiced by allowing God into your anxious thoughts. Let him teach you the tactics to a guarded mind. The process is not as simple as we make it, but his peace is all surpassing.
You Say – Lauren Daigle
Love You Swore – John Mark McMillan
Hold My Heart – Tenth Avenue North
I Won’t Let You Go – Switchfoot
Close Beside – Joseph Holm
Help Me Believe – Strahan
Peace Song – Kye Kye
When Darkness Falls – Jenny and Tyler
Listen here at the Real and True Playlist on Spotify: (newest blog playlist are always first songs at the top) https://open.spotify.com/user/128815512/playlist/3YfqgeMjEUj7ZB8ydKd5qL
Check out Chloe and Linda Grabeman’s book Real and True: Hope for the Restless Heart at www.realandtruehope.com