Fears abound in life to the extent that we are betwixt and between many rocky and hard places. At the least expected moment, news breaks! And we reel in convolutions of scared feeling and troubled thought. The mind works in overtime. The heart guards the mind anxiously, waiting upon news on how matters are to be resolved.
Yet, many matters are irresolvable, not least as we are presently concerned.
What we were anxious about last week or last month seems now no longer the key issue; a new problem has emerged, or the existing problem has morphed somewhat. Nothing stays as it is for long.
But what is common to our experience is the phenomenon of problems that cause an anxious absence of joy.
Maybe we are too easily panicked. And though not everyone is given to anxious thoughts and fearful feelings, we are all spooked by what occurs, and can occur, in life.
Then, every day is the opportunity: to dispatch anxious fear in favour of a manually co-opted trust. At every temptation to enter into our anxious thinking, we remind ourselves of the ‘out’ we have in prayer. God calms our hearts at accord with our manual trust—the situation of actually doing something very practical.
Trust finds its legs in prayer.
When we pray we need to understand that prayer doesn’t make the problem go away or seem any smaller right away. We pray because of our faith. Faith does its thing because it believes without evidence of sight. And when we pray in the mode of anxiousness we express even more faith to do something that promises blessing without any immediate evidence of it.
Anxiousness is actually an invitation to pray; we may not pray otherwise.
Deeper again, we commit to submitting before God, by simply resting our minds and hearts as much as we possibly can. Such a thing of submission is a helpful surrender. It’s not about making a nuisance of ourselves with ourselves, but about being gentle and kind with ourselves.
Submitting before God means understanding the comprehensive and magnanimous nature of grace as God wills us to enjoy it—in the midst of our struggle.
Help is available in our worry. As anxious circumstances swarm, and we are given to fret, all we need is a spark of thought—‘take this now to God!’ Although trusting God enough to pray doesn’t always bring peace in the moment, our faithfulness to trust will be blessed. We believe this by faith, and faith doesn’t disappoint.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.