Pushing a Shopping Cart down the Avenue...
"And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
Am I the only one whose worst case scenario is that I'll end up pushing the proverbial shopping cart down the avenue, hair knotted up in dreadlocks, living occasionally in my friend's beater Pinto that she has long since abandoned...you know the drill, or do you? Am I the only one? Oh, and the frightmare continues with my friend occasionally tossing me some cold spam sandwiches out the window so I'll have something to eat and her dog ends up getting to the scraps before I do. (OK, so I have a vivid imagination).
The Shopping Cart mentality. The worst fear. The bottom line. You know, fear that God won't really take care of me in a pinch.
I know anxiety--the kind that keeps you up at night, curled up in the fetal position, heart racing, mind spinning out of control. That panic that has to do with what ifs and unanswered questions and possibilities of disaster. The kind of fear that nothing can touch. I also know the free-floating, random, not having to do with anything in particular kind of anxiety.
None of that is from God.
I'll never forget a night when I was so full of anxiety and fear that I literally felt paralyzed. Couldn't move to pick up the phone because I was afraid of what I'd find out what was on the other end of the line. I couldn't talk about my fears because I felt embarrassed and ashamed to have such anxiety.
"God, help me," I heard myself whisper.
As clear as the wind I heard in my spirit, "I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind."
He spoke to my spirit and I was reassured. I was reassured that God was with me, that He saw that I was suffering and that He cared enough to let me know that the spirit of fear wasn't coming from Him, but from another source.
Once I asked Him to remove the spirit of fear, in the name of Jesus, I could sleep. The insane thoughts left me.
The more I study God's word (the Bible), the more at peace I feel. (By study, I mean taking a portion of scripture, asking the Holy Spirit to guide my time in the word and to take notes as portions of scripture "speak" to me). I see that God's word corresponds to His truth and not only that, to His actions in my natural surroundings.
In other words, He handles the stuff that causes me anxiety. He handles my business, so long as I am focusing on, trusting in and relying upon Him. 24-7.
My prayer is that someone will read what little I have to say and begin to experience freedom from anxiety, as I have. God's word and His promises are better than any pill, bottle of wine, box of cookies or any other random thing that we use to quiet our minds. This is huge for a woman like me.
Say out loud, based on 2 Timothy 1:7:
For God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.