How God Deals With Our Anxiety
Our daughter used to vomit nearly every morning. I assumed she’d inherited my sensitive stomach. I later learned I’d passed on something far more uncomfortable—anxiety.
Unfortunately, for years, she largely suffered in silence. She’d received a lifetime of platitudes and religious clichés that spoke to her spiritual side while neglecting her physical nature. Worse, all those well-intentioned statements actually made her feel worse, like a failure. But God addresses our whole selves.
When Elijah, the prophet scholars believe suffered from depression, wanted to die, God told him to eat and sleep, recognizing how fatigue can drastically affect our emotions. (1 Kings 19:4-14). When Jesus prayed in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46), God didn’t chastise Him, saying, “Buck up, Son! Have faith! You know You’ll get through this.”
Instead, He sent an angel to strengthen Him. Similarly, when our insides are churning and we cry out to God, He doesn’t rebuke or ignore us. Instead, He draws us near, speaking words of love over our conflicted hearts. He comforts us, strengthens us, and guides us toward ever-increasing freedom.
For me, that’s meant memorizing Scripture, singing praise songs when worry rises, and, at times, releasing stress through exercise. My daughter, however, requires therapy and medication in conjunction with self-care tools.
Humans are complex spiritual and physical beings, and we all long for peace. But biblical peace is about reaching a place of wholeness, where all our parts are joined together in Christ—the physical and spiritual. He loves our whole selves—our messy, broken, healing, and redeemed parts—and is continually binding all our fragment pieces so that one day we’ll stand before Him complete, as He created us to be.
But we’re not there yet. As we wait, we draw close to Him, lean into Him, get counseling if necessary, and cling to every word of truth and grace He provides, knowing one day our inner angst will end.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, iBelieve is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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