I know this time of year can provide people with a lot of excitement. “Fresh starts and new beginnings! A clean slate! A brand new year!”
I, however, am not one of those people. I feel anxiety creeping in. I feel the weight of time passing by so quickly, and it makes me wonder if I am doing enough, being enough.
Am I making enough time for God?
Am I serving my wife enough?
Do I love my kids enough?
Am I doing a good enough job at work?
I’ve got one life to live, am I making it count?
Will I leave enough of an impact when I’m gone?
Fear can be paralyzing. Sometimes fear can motivate, but I’ve found that more often than not, it causes me to freeze. I’m worried any decision I make will be the wrong one, which only compounds the whole problem of wanting to live life to the fullest. How can you do that when you are frozen with fear?
There are no amounts of inspirational quotes to move me. My walls could be completely papered in those posters that are supposed to make you jump up and do…something. I have found the only thing to move me past fear and into peace is the presence of God. The only thing that carries me out of anxiety and into true rest is Jesus Himself. Seeking Him, talking to Him, listening for Him, worshiping Him, sharing His peace, love and blessings…these are the things that give you courage. Courage to face another day, give an apology, pick up the phone, make the difficult decisions. It gives you peace to trust that the One who holds the world also holds your future in the palm of His hand. And when you surrender (fully, truly surrender), you can do your best to honor Him in all things, and leave the rest up to Him. You are not in control, but you can trust the One who is.
David discovered the same thing. Life was too much for him, UNTIL he “went into the sanctuary of God.” (Read Psalm 73.)
Paul and Silas knew how important facing fear with the power of God was when they decided to praise God while in prison. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Act 16:25 ESV)
Jesus Himself understood the importance of getting alone in the Father’s presence. “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray [in seclusion].” (Luke 5:16 Amplified Bible)
Begin this new year with more faith than fear. And if you just aren’t feeling it, choose to get alone with God and tell Him all about it. Honesty goes a long way with Jesus. Don’t be afraid to be real and tell Him about your fear and anxiety. Ask Him to help you overcome it with the power of the Holy Spirit.