What My Anxiety Taught Me About God

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You know those moments when you just need to read something, hear something, or see something that will just lift you up? Well I had one of those yesterday, and here is what I read…

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God – 2 Corinthians 1:3,4.

Nice huh? Well to me it is more than just nice. It is more than just reassuring. It actually gives me a new perspective. Let me explain.

No-one “asks” or “likes” the bad hand we are often dealt. I didn’t “ask” to be lied to, to be cheated on, to be ignored, to be neglected at times, to feel physical pain, to be afraid, to be hurt, and the biggest thorn in my side, to have anxiety! It is hard to wake up every day and the first thought that comes to your mind is “What If?” A classic question most anxiety sufferers ask themselves on a day to day basis. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t think that this moment, right now, would have me in such a battle compared to a few years ago where anxiety was the last thing on my mind. But it happened.

I am guilty of asking God “why?”, “why me?”. Some people might like to say, well maybe God gave it to you to strengthen your character (one I hear often), or maybe He gave it to you so you can be there for someone else in the future who has suffered with the same thing (another one I hear). But that would imply God inflicted pain and suffering in my life. God is supposed to be a God of love.

We all have a battle, a thorn in our side.

Here is what I like to think. Maybe it happened because we live in a sinful world. This world is not perfect. And bad things happen to everyone. EVERYONE! Christians, non-Christians. Even animals! People experience different problems; we all have a battle, a thorn in our side.

My anxiety happened because of experiences that built up, and misconceptions that I had…each person’s cause of troubles varies. However, God see’s it. And I believe He looks at this anxiety which He did not give me, as an opportunity to bring about something good. What good? Yes it can be used to refine who I am. It can be used to help another mother who has fears, it can be used to help someone holding onto an addiction. Something good will come of this because God is in control. When bad things happen, God doesn’t inflict it, however, He see’s it as an opportunity to bring something good out of it. God is good. God likes to make things good. Just read the story of Creation. And when he see’s something bad happening to His creatures (you and I) He wants to make it good again. As God comforts us we are now able to comfort others who go through their trouble (of any kind) with the hope and comfort we have received from God. God see’s my anxiety, your sickness, Joe’s heartbreak, Sally’s depression, Jack’s cancer, Jessica’s abuse. He didn’t give it to us. But if we want, He can comfort us. And one of the good things you and I can take from our sufferings is the opportunity to comfort others through theirs. And though we still may be in the battle, we have hope. The hope of God, His love, His power, and His restoration. Whether we are restored on earth or when He calls us home.

Note: This article was originally published at redletterroundtable.wordpress.com 

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