I recently read this verse in Phillippians, which has come to mind today
We all suffer with anxiety from time to time, I can remember an occasion when I was on a trampoline coaching course as part of my role, when I was volunteering at a retreat centre, I started to get anxious about whether or not I would pass or whether I would injure myself or someone else! Our trainer even told me that I was “the wrong body shape for trampolining”! On the day of the exam, I was sitting, waiting for it to start and a cat jumped on my lap, he/she must have known I needed a little comforting reminder, that whatever happened, life would go on! I suddenly realised that it didn’t matter whether or not I passed! Yes, it would have been useful, but in the bigger scheme of things, no one would die if I didn’t pass! If I failed, I just wouldn’t be left in charge of the trampoline! As it happened I failed, the examiner said to me “The criteria I judge people on is “Would I let you teach my child?” and the answer is NO!” Well it’s funny looking back anyway!
The problem with sufferers of OCD is not just that they like things “their way“, or that they are obsessive about cleaning/touching things a certain number of times, etc. The biggest issue is actually that they get anxious and worry about what will happen if they don’t do those things they do “out of habit“, like the possibility of their house burning down or someone may die due to the fact that they failed to do the repetitive act! Anyone else may look at that and dismiss it as silly, but to that person, it is a real fear! I remember watching one program on OCD where this innocent young guy was paranoid that he was gonna stab someone, if he even touched a knife, so he had to go through therapy which began with touching a knife, then on to sitting next to the therapist as he touched the knife, to picking it up, until he was able to hold the knife to the therapists throat without worrying about hurting her!
I believe God wants us all to not panic, not be anxious, Jesus said himself “don’t worry about food or clothes, look at the birds, look at the flowers if God can feed them and clothe them do you not think he will do even more for you!”
I realise for some people trying to not be anxious is easier said than done, and being able to see outside the problem is difficult when you are in it! But instead of beating ourselves up about a potential lack of faith or allowing others to say “your faith isn’t strong enough” or giving you “helpful” verses which make you feel more condemned or weak. We should trust in the fact that it is a promise!
IF we pray, giving thanks, submitting our lives and situations to God’s control,:-
- We will be given peace
- We can trust that the situation will improve.
- We can sleep soundly.
Remember three things!
- If you feel that are about to “hit rock bottom” Jesus is the rock he is there waiting for you!
- Everything works out in the end, if it hasn’t, it is not the end!
- God in the form of Jesus knows what we are going through!- He felt pain, anguish, anger, persecution, temptation and EVERY part of the human experience, He died and rose again to prove not even death has power over him!