Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Your consolation brings me joy...

I don't like to think of myself as an anxious person. 
In general. 
I usually have an optimistic, glass-half-full, sunshine-y viewpoint. But...when I fall into any kind of anxious cycle, I do not do it halfway. Combine an over-active imagination with a swirl of irrational late-night fears and you have a recipe for a special brand of crazy! I don't know what precipitated it, but lately I have been battling late-night fears that bear little resemblance to reality. But when you're in the grip of that kind of cycle, reality can get fuzzy. 
I don't like admitting this about myself. I don't want to be an anxious person. 
But it happens.
So when it was time to choose a scripture to memorize for the first of June, this seemed like a good one to marinate my mind/heart in.

"When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy."
Psalm 94:19

Another translation says "when anxious thoughts multiply within me..." That perfectly describes what happens when we give in to the fearful thoughts -- they pile in on top of one another, escalating into an all-out anxiety attack.

But God (oh, I love those words!) consoles. He is ready to comfort, to cheer, to delight, to encourage, to bring joy to my soul. How does He do that? Another favorite Scripture gives a hint:

"Do not be anxious about anything, 
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7

Instead of churning mentally over every conceivable (awful) what-if, present my requests to God. Pray. And (this is key) with thanksgiving. Remembering, with thankfulness, the ways God has proven faithful in the past can definitely lessen the fear in the present -- or future. And He promises His transcendent peace.

And don't forget:

"Cast all your anxiety on him, 
because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

That is truth. Truth is truth, regardless of how my anxious mind is feeling at the moment. Hang on to the truth.

Also, I want to be mindful of others struggling through seasons of anxiety. Proverbs 12:25 says:

"Anxiety weighs down the heart, 
but a kind word cheers it up."

So, that's my choice. Cling to the truth -- know that His consolation will bring my anxious soul back to joy. And share a kind word with others who need that encouragement.

(Update -- In typical God fashion, this song recommendation just happened to pop up on Facebook. So perfectly ties in with what I've been wrestling with!)

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