Does God “work?”
I have battled anxiety and panic attacks since I was five years old and although prayer, memorizing Scripture and a deeper understanding of who God is has liberated me from many anxiety issues, I still battle fear regularly and I’m tired of it.
I get God isn’t a genie and His ways aren’t our ways. I understand we live in a fallen world (thanks again, Eve) and that everything will be and made new again someday. But struggling with anxiety once again has me wondering if God works. Does He change anything long term? Does He matter in the hard places and the recurring places we should be done with by now?
My latest fear is weather induced. Snow to be exact. My son got his temps in November and my 17 year-old is shuttling kids for a nannying job five days a week. When the snow started to fall I became incredibly anxious about my kids driving. Not your every day, run of the mill, normal motherly type worrying, but the kind of worrying that keeps me up at night, induces eye twitches and keeps me constantly preoccupied with what if’s.
As always, I decided to keep reading and praying. Friday I read about seeking peace and pursuing it. I journaled and asked God to show me what that looked like. Another day I journaled about what it meant to “…not fear what they fear.” But the more I prayed and read my Bible the more frustrated I grew that fear seemed once again to be winning the battle for my time, attention and mental energy. Then after reading about a girl fighting for her life after being in a horrific car accident, I gave up. I asked God in frustrated exhaustion to supernaturally remove my anxieties because nothing I was studying, praying about or looking to seemed to be working.
To me, God “working” would mean the total elimination of fear in my life. It would mean no more victories over anxiety a thousand times just to find something new to worry about tomorrow. But I realize now that God “working” means exactly what He has been doing for the last twenty years of my ongoing battle with anxiety, including but not limited to my fear of snow.
It is through prayer, confronting my doubts and frustrations with God and by reading His Word that I slowly, repeatedly and more deeply discover more of who God is. In that process of discovery, I learn to trust Him more, resist the urge to control that which isn’t in my control (everything) and rediscover the hope I have in Him, over and over and over again. God gradually took away my fear of snow and He will help me work through the next anxiety as well.
Oswald Chambers says, “It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.” I realized this week God works by constantly being at work in me. The process isn’t pretty, instantaneous or once-and-done, but His work creates lasting incremental change and best of all, delivers hope when we need it most. #Godworks #believedeeper