Anxiety Looms

Anxiety looms just below the surface. It starts with a feeling of being stressed with a sense of fear. Sometimes it stays there, but sometimes it starts to grow. Pressure sets in on my chest. My breathing gets tight. Everything feels overwhelming.

When these feelings set in, my first reaction is to retreat and pull away from those I love. I’m learning to lean into God and reach out for professional help. This Psalm expresses my heart in the midst of looming anxiety.

1-2 Listen to this prayer of mine, God;
    pay attention to what I’m asking.
Answer me—you’re famous for your answers!
    Do what’s right for me.
But don’t, please don’t, haul me into court;
    not a person alive would be acquitted there. 3-6 The enemy hunted me down;
    he kicked me and stomped me within an inch of my life.
He put me in a black hole,
    buried me like a corpse in that dungeon.
I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away,
    my heart heavy, like lead.
I remembered the old days,
    went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked,
Stretched out my hands to you,
    as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain. 7-10 Hurry with your answer, God!
    I’m nearly at the end of my rope.
Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!
    That would be certain death.
If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice,
    I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you.
Point out the road I must travel;
    I’m all ears, all eyes before you.
Save me from my enemies, God—
    you’re my only hope!
Teach me how to live to please you,
    because you’re my God.
Lead me by your blessed Spirit
    into cleared and level pastureland. 11-12 Keep up your reputation, God—give me life!
    In your justice, get me out of this trouble!
In your great love, vanquish my enemies;
    make a clean sweep of those who harass me.
And why? Because I’m your servant. (Psalm 143 MSG)

When anxiety looms, it tells me that my body is reacting to something unseen, something deep within me. Leaning into God and seeking help sets me free. The pressure lifts. The fear dissipates. Peace and joy return, and the anxiety continues to get less and less. It’s His promise. It’s His gift. We don’t have to keep the fear. There is a way through it.

Are you willing to find a way through it? Have learned how to lean into it? Have you found a way through it? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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