This post is by Jenn Kokal.
Psalm 34:4 (ESV) - I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
I still remember my first anxiety attack. I had just gone to the gym, worked up a good sweat, and was on my way home. Suddenly, my heart felt like it was going to pop out of my chest. I went to the ER, and they found nothing wrong with me. They claimed I had broken a rib at the gym. But I knew that wasn’t it. I went to the doctor several more times as my heart continued its abnormal heartbeat. But none of the doctors I had gone to could find anything wrong with me. My ticker was in perfect working condition.
It turned out that I had bad anxiety, and it was manifesting itself in arrhythmia. And that wasn’t the only way my body was responding to stress. I had migraines, infertility, and horrible stomach aches. And unfortunately, this year has been one of the most anxiety-ridden years of my life! Between all the crazy world politics, starting a new business, and moving homes, all while trying to maintain a consistent work schedule, the anxiety piled on.
About three months ago, I knew something needed to change. I was having a really, really bad morning. I lay on my bed, crying. I didn’t know what to do. I had never felt so sick with anxiety ever before. I truly believed my life, my husband’s life, and everything I knew was about to end. I cried out at God and asked Him what He was doing. Then, through my tears, I opened my Bible, dug into the Word, and allowed it to comfort me - something I hadn’t done in months.
I discovered reading my Bible was a huge anxiety-reliever. During my months battling with some of the worst anxiety ever, I realized I had never really done much God time. I made the excuse that I was “too busy” for God. But I needed God time! I began reading my Bible as many mornings as I could. I sat outside on my back porch with a hot cup of coffee and read, prayed, and talked with God.
Guess what? Over these past several months, my anxiety is much, much less than it used to be. And I believe wholeheartedly it is due to the God time I have been intentional about each morning.
You see, friend, God is the best Person you can go to when you feel anxious. In fact, one of God’s names is Comforter. He comforts everyone who has stress or anxiety. And guess what else? You can dump as much stress and anxiety as you want on Him, and He won’t ever get angry with you. In fact, Peter tells us to “cast all anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 ESV) “Cast” is an old-fashioned word that means to throw. Peter is literally telling us to throw our anxieties onto Jesus! How cool is that? We have a God that not only cares about our feelings, but actually wants to handle our anxieties for us so we don’t have to.
On top of this, David, the Psalmist, tells us God removes all of our fears when we seek Him. Psalm 34:4 says, I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (ESV) This verse is so true! Once I began seeking God every morning, I could feel my daily anxieties beginning to lessen. In fact, they are continuing to lessen! Though I still struggle with anxiety on occasion, (and maybe always will) I understand God cares so deeply for me that He has given me one of the best anxiety-relievers out there: His Word.
Friend, my call to action is this:
Next time you feel anxious, stressed, or worried, consider digging into God’s Word and giving yourself some much-needed time with God. Seriously, try it! Really do your best to seek God. Just see how much better you feel.
You can’t afford not to!
Jenn Kokal is a professional writer, podcaster, and intern worship leader at her local church. She started her business, P40 Ministries, as a way to bring hope, encouragement, and truth to the world. She is the host of the P40 Ministries Podcast - a daily podcast that goes through the Bible cover-to-cover and is meant to help listeners easily understand the Scriptures. Jenn is also an outdoorswoman who loves eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking hot coffee on her back porch.
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