Action Amid Anxiety

Life changes.

In fact, I was reminded that when the Lord is growing you up, you really can’t stay the same. Everything changes with Him…and yet, because He’s perfect, He never does. He is perfection. Knowing that God is the constant, it should be easy to rely on Him during these seasons of change. However, more often than not, my mind will take over and the logic only brings about anxiety when trying to understand something too irrational for finite comprehension.

Continuing my journey through the Bible (not in 90 days anymore), I just finished up the letter to the Philippians. It seems I haven’t been able to move past Philippians all week. Verse 6 in chapter 4 is one I have leaned on for years:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

I have a lot of requests I’d like to make. I feel a lot of anxiety in this moment because I don’t know what God is up to. It’s something that even my practice of Yoga and utilizing the calming effects of Ujjayi Breathing (the Ocean Breath) can’t always save me from. But God, through Paul, tells me that I need not be anxious about anything! Instead, he gives us three words:

Prayer

Supplication

Thanksgiving

I always like to go back to the original language because I find deeper meaning and understanding in it than English can truly provide. I am no scholar, I just learned how to use a Concordance.

Prayer- worship of God, to place a will or wish upon

Supplication- petition, request, create a bond with the Lord, to ascertain by inquiry

Thanksgiving- gratitude, gratefulness as an act of worship

I dug a little deeper into the word Thanksgiving and found this really neat definition from the Greek root words:

Graciousness of manner or act – the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life; including gratitude.

The divine influence upon my heart and its reflection in my life.

That’s deep.

When I am anxious, when the whole world looks like it went through another polar shift, when my perspective convinces me of anything other than the truth, I have to remember three action steps: Worship, Ask (Bind myself to His will), and Thank. The crazy thing is, I realize that I can do none of these things without Jesus making a way for me to do so first.

I want to focus in on this idea of Thanksgiving, though. In my anxiety, in the midst of my confusion (which isn’t from God), how do I act? Do I act as though I trust Him? Am I showing those around me that He has a divine influence upon my heart? Is the reflection in my life one of gratitude which can only come because of Him? Can I live like this even when I don’t get an answer?

Thanksgiving is much more than words. Thanksgiving is an action. Thanksgiving is an act of worship. It is thanking God and acknowledging that He is indeed in control of all things. And then it’s walking it out like you believe it. It’s how you speak to people about your current circumstances. I’m not saying be fake, but God asks us to cast all of our cares upon Him because He is the only thing that can sustain us (Psalm 55:22). Do you speak to others with faith that things like Romans 8:28 are true for your life…even if you can’t see it? I believe that is an action of gratitude.

Thankfulness is a pride killer, but I believe that living it out is also an anxiety killer and a faith booster. What if we prayed like we believed God would do it? What if we lived our lives in thankfulness with a view that he already accomplished it? And even if He chooses not to do what we ask (because we might not be able to see that our request isn’t His best), but we stand on the promise that He has something much better, what would that look like in practice?

I wonder what would happen if I lived my life with more gratitude. I think it’s game changer.

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