My friend Debbie presents the blog for this month. She has suffered from anxiety and depression for a while. She is far better qualified to talk about this subject than I am.
Are you anxious all the time? I cried with self-pity for four years. Nothing was working out. Sound familiar? Especially now, at the end of the age. (Matthew 24:3) I had just discovered that Social Security Disability was in my near future since the doctors found both arthritis and fibromyalgia in my hands, legs, and feet. I was confined to home, not only from the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia, but I had broken my right arm and was in a cast from my armpit to my fingers.
All day, anxieties crept into my thoughts. More worries. We had just gone from two paychecks to one, and I was handling the money, but what a burden! What if they took our house due to foreclosure? Were we even going to be able to sell it before that happened? How were we going to eat?
I felt sorry for myself, and prayer was the only way to get me out of bed. I can’t put enough emphasis on praying. When praying for a double portion of the Holy Spirit, God, in His wisdom, would give me a picture of various scenarios. I saw scenes from the past, the joy of being saved, and from the future, how others needed my help. For the most part, I thanked Him for another day.
The anxiety attacks were so overwhelming that I needed fervent prayer, and the Holy Spirit came to the rescue. He began to show me in my mind’s eye what the problem was. And it started with my lack of spiritual vision.
There are different kinds of melancholy. One Satan employs is when he uses your concerns against you by interjecting thoughts into your mind, then blowing them all out of proportion, and the anxiousness returns. Remember, it may sound like your inner being, but it is undoubtedly the adversary, especially if the thoughts are unhealthy.
I have many problems, large and small, and I am sure you also have them. They are most likely the same ones. So, the scenario goes like this: you wake up worried about the what-ifs in the middle of the night.
I woke up freaking out one night because they had predicted a horrible thunderstorm. It was due to strike around the time to go to my doctor’s appointment, which meant an hour’s drive in the storm.
Then, I started thinking about a deposition I had to attend. I had to be present because I had caused an auto accident. All lawyers would be facing me, and I was guilty! The deposition was supposed to take place in two weeks.
Of course, the old dinner problem, almost out of money!
My mind started whirling, and I began to cry, which reminded me to talk to God. I have missed some beautiful days because I was too depressed.
Here’s the long and short of it, “leave it with God.” Listen to the Comforter. He is next to us for this very reason. First, you need to calm down. The Holy Spirit will help you do this if you ask Him. I lay on my back and reasoned with the Holy Spirit’s help.
First, He calmed me and said, “Tackle each problem one day at a time.” Consequently, after some years, I learned that was excellent advice for everything.
So, the thunderstorms: I am deathly afraid of thunderstorms because of a bad experience I had years before. It was the kind you don’t forget. Then my next thought was, “Who cares? If God will take me, I can’t and won’t try to do anything to stop Him. Why would I?”
Next, I wouldn’t be alone at the deposition; I had a lawyer representing me, and most importantly, the Holy Spirit was with me.
Then, dinner: why couldn’t I pick up a roasted chicken? They run between $5.00 – $8.00.
Leave your burdens and walk away from them. I lay down on my back, pray, and listen for what the Holy Spirit inside me has to say before I run off and possibly do something stupid. Remember, God is bigger than your problems, and would love to hear from you.
The most significant part of the problem is in not trusting God. Debbie’s questions arose out of a trust issue:
What if they took our house due to foreclosure?
Were we even going to be able to sell it before that happened?
How were we going to eat?
People who suffer from the “What-Ifs” do not realize they are not trusting God. You might think you are very practical and concerned about how you will care for yourself and your family.
Let me tell you a story. After my husband died from cancer, I became involved with several local churches, helping in different ministries. One day, I was thinking about the Scripture from Matthew 6:25-34 (also found in Luke 12:22-34).
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Matthew 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Matthew 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Matthew 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
At one of the churches, I helped with feeding the local homeless. I also volunteered sometimes to give out food at other churches. If anything happened so I could not buy food, I knew where I could get food and at least survive. But what if I needed clothes? Where would I get them? Right there, in my home, I got down on my knees and prayed. “God, if something happens, I know where to get food. But, Father, what about clothing? Your word tells us not to worry about these things, for you feed the birds of the air and say we are much better than they are. You also tell us to consider the lilies of the field, but they are clothed better than Solomon in his glory. Father, where would I get clothes? You won’t tell me right now, but you will show me. I thank you and pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Within a couple of weeks, I received a call from one of my friends, Laura. She started the conversation, “Barbara, there’s something about me you don’t know. I run a clothing ministry.”
I started crying as she continued, “God told me I need to give you some clothes. The best of everything. The silks, the wools, the linen. All I need to know is your size.”
My response? “Laura, you don’t know it, but you are the answer to my prayer.” I went on to tell her the story and added that I didn’t need the clothing. She gave them to me anyway. (Be careful what you pray for: all those materials must be dry-cleaned. Expensive!) We ended up in the clothing ministry together. God so blessed us that we started feeding clothing into other ministries. Then, one day, several years later, the clothing ministry just dried up for us. The clothing was now going straight to the other ministries we had fed. It was time for Laura and me to move on. We parted ways as God had different ministries for each of us.
If you have concerns about what will happen, please take your requests to God. He will answer – sometimes in the most stunning way. A way you would never have thought of.
God Bless you,