We all know anxiety well. It comes with most trials and heartache. It rises when opportunities fall through. It speaks up when I’m at a loss for words to comfort my wife, or when that unexpected invoice pings my inbox, or when I turn on the news to witness another heartbreaking story of injustice. It’s easy to be paralyzed by my current “newsfeed” of reality, and forget everything I know to be true.
When anxiety strikes, we often resort to navel-gazing — the act of “self-indulgent or excessive contemplation of oneself, or a single issue, at the expense of a wider view.” Instead of trusting God’s promise to provide with ever-arriving waves of grace, I am prone to enshrouding myself in a cloud of needless concern. And that anxiety blinds me to reality. I trade the “wider view” of God’s faithfulness in exchange for the empty promises offered by self-pity, worry, and doubt.
Fortunately, the Bible has something to say to anxious hearts. As a child of God, you have a jaw-dropping past, an infinitely compelling future, and a rock-solid reality to stand on without fear or worry in any circumstance.
Look Behind You
When it comes to hope in the midst of struggle, God calls us to be a remembering people. If you spend even fifteen seconds gazing into your own past, it will begin to sparkle with ten-thousand mercies reflecting off the waves of those memories (Lamentations 3:22). The sea of past grace dwells here, and welcomes us to come and drink, and remember as often as we need to. You could easily spend a week reliving and remembering God’s many special provisions that came later than you wanted, but at just the right time.