“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34 ESV)
Ever had one of those days when you can’t seem to shake the anxiety and worry? This past weekend was just that for me. The worrying seemed to have overpowered me and I was struggling with it. It was difficult for me to even recognize just why I was so anxious; friends kept asking but I just couldn’t put it into words.
Still there was another message; a message that addressed exactly what I was dealing with. It seemed like all the sermons I heard over the radio during those two days were directly addressing what I was going through. I heard Jesus’ words over and over – “do not be anxious” – and they were comforting but I have to admit, the anxiety didn’t go away immediately.
I have never been able to hide what is going on beneath the surface, emotionally that is. I’ve tried; my lips smile but my eyes frown, my words echo hope but the tone of my voice quickly unveil the disturbance within my soul. When it comes to how I feel, I am a walking tattle-tale. For as long as I can remember, I have always had an issue with my face expressing the truth of what is on my mind and on my heart. So, it’s just easier to always tell the truth. Not that I want to lie, but the spirit within me don’t really allow that anyway.
The message was clear this weekend; the worries of this world were trying to distract me from the word of God and his promises. It was a battle and it felt like I was losing, all the while knowing that I just needed to hold fast to the truth of God’s word. I remained prayerful; and thankful to those who saw through my thin veil and prayed with and for me.
It didn’t help that I was a bit deprived of proper rest. It was evident that the enemy was exploiting my seemingly weakened state; my physical and emotional exhaustion. But I battled on, praying constantly to keep from falling into despair. Not even the activities of the weekend could keep me from focusing on the burdens that weighed heavily on me.
By Monday I was pretty battered and bruised; anxiety and worry had taken a toll on me and I was still in the battle. It was difficult to stay focused but I couldn’t just give in. The more I prayed, the lighter the burdens became. Finally, during a meeting with my brothers that evening, I felt free. The words “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them” came to mind. His presence among us was too much for the enemy. He could not handle the worship and the prayers of Christ’s own; the coming together of His faithful sons to worship God. I could not help but give glory to God for His steadfast love and presence among us.
Christ said we should not worry and it is important that we hold fast to His words but there is no army of one. The coming together of His saints is essential for the spiritual battle we are ever so presently engaged in. We must put on the full armor of God, we must stand firm with one another and lock our shields so that when the enemy surrounds us, we will be better protected from his flaming arrows. I fought, but it was when I stopped fighting and began worshiping that the battle was won. I could not win the battle on my own but He who fights for me can never be defeated.