I don’t know about you, but these uncertain times have me anxious. I feel it in my bones, deep within me. My mind often runs on a loop, and I feel like I can’t escape the noise – the noise of our culture, our politics, the pandemic, my fear of judgment from others around my political affiliations or my level of precaution around Covid.
The fear I feel at times is completely debilitating. I can’t function. Emotionally, it doesn’t feel like I can even put one foot in front of the other. My mind feels like utter chaos.
Can you relate?
I realized today it’s been far too long since I took the time to journal and pour out the inner workings of my heart and mind to God, a brain dump if you will. Through repeated acts of suppressing my feelings, I have let these thoughts and fears build up inside of me. And now my overwhelm is at overflow.
A place I return to time and time again in the midst of anxiety or overwhelm is Psalm 62. In it, David seems frantic, anxious, all too aware of the chaos going on around him, constantly reminding himself that God is his rock and source of salvation. In David’s words, I see his fear and weariness from constant attacks. And I honestly resonate deeply. Though I do not physically experience this sort of onslaught of attack, I feel it spiritually. I feel it emotionally and mentally. What about you?
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
When I look to the next verse, I see a beautiful promise:
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” –Psalm 62:8
My lack of control in these times of uncertainty has caused a storm of fear and anxiety. Trust has not been my portion. I trust much more easily when I feel in control. But is that really trust at all? Trust should test us, it should by nature cost us something. And that something is control.
But when I look to the words of David, I see that even in the midst of uncertain storms, in the midst of attack, there is an invitation to trust, to reach out, to pour out and be found in the midst of a refuge.
Oxford describes a refuge as “a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.” Will you join me in this act of trust? I often don’t know what to do with my fear and anxiety, but today it’s been made very clear to me.
Let’s take some time today to journal our weightiness, pour out our hearts before God. I believe as we do, trust will be the natural side effect. May we find that we are surrounded by the tall, strong walls of his refuge as we hide ourselves in him.
1) What anxiety or fear is plaguing you today? What do you feel is completely out of control? Write these things down. Pour your heart out to God, hold nothing back.
2) Take a few minutes with your hands stretched out, palms facing down, and release those things to God. Speak them aloud. Actively let them go, releasing them from your hands as a symbolic act. Take as long as you need.
3) When you feel finished, flip the palms of your hands up toward heaven. Pray this prayer, “God, thank you that you bear my burdens. Thank you that you are ultimately in control. I release all control I think I have to you. I receive your peace. Bring your peace like a flood to me, Father. Envelope me in your peace. Be all around me, Christ, like a very real refuge for my soul. I acknowledge you are with me now, and as I go. I thank you for your presence. May I be hidden in you. Amen.”