Can you tell a difference in your own life between anxiety and worry? I worry about specific known dangers. When I’m worried I’m focused on one bad thing and I feel upset because I believe that if that thing happens my life will be miserable. Worry is an obvious response to a temporary danger. When the danger passes I feel grateful and move on with my life. When I’m not in danger I can strip worry off and leave it behind me like a pile of filthy clothes.
Anxiety is an enemy that strikes like a monster in the dark. Anxiety shifts and morphs and reappears as if from nowhere. There are times when I can feel the monster breathing on the back of my neck but when I spin around to see its face it slips away into the shadows. Anxiety hides deep inside, afraid of the light of day. I don’t think my way into it, and I have to believe my way out of it. Each anxious day unfolds like a wrestling match where I battle an enemy faster and more powerful than I am. Thank God, I don’t fight alone.
The best thing I can do to turn the tide against the anxiety beast is to remember who God is and what He has done for me. I must remember that God is good; that He rescues the perishing; that He breathes life into death; that He opens the eyes of the blind; that He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. Meditating on these truths builds a force field around me that keeps the anxiety monster at bay. Inside I find my peace.
Let me close with this and remember the blessing: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (I Peter 5:7)