I have a solution to the difficulty young children have tying their shoes: Make the strings from the cords of in-ear headphones. All you have to do is pick them up and they produce knots!
Our circumstances can be legitimately scary. But anxiety does not have to be the result.
When I am anxious, I find that I have slipped into an “exception” mode with God — that I am believing a lie about his essential nature.
Don’t get me wrong… the great liar does not consider me important enough to shout at. No, these suggestions creep in almost as a whisper — as an exception to the character of God revealed in scripture. See if you recognize one of them…
“Sure, God is powerful. Any idiot can see that by looking around. But is he really controlling everything?”
What’s the implication here? That God is generally in charge, but in my case… he blinked. He looked away for a moment, perhaps distracted by a quasar he was working on, and he didn’t see the open manhole in my way. Later, he says, “Oh, my bad little one.” Anxiety springs from thoughts of being overlooked, forgotten.
“Of course God is loving. The cross shouts this to all mankind. But can he really love me?”
Again the attack is made on the basis of an exception. This time the exception is me. Somehow I am special, peculiar — an outlier that the shed blood of Jesus cannot quite reach. Anxiety comes from being unloveable.
“God is wise, of course, but the world is very complex. He is doing the best he can.”
This is an anthropomorphism – assigning to God the attributes of man (e.g. limited capacity). The world is an ant farm and God simply cannot keep up. The result, I worry, is that some of the ants experience less-than-optimal outcomes. I would be much better off if God was my small group leader.
Absurd when considered logically, these flaws in the attributes of God somehow lodge themselves in my gut when I am facing hard days. The answer, as always, is faith. I must reject the lies of the enemy and embrace the perfection of my Lord. If he is flawed in any way, he is not the God he claims to be. Thus the fault lies not in him, but in my beliefs about him.
When all our efforts to control life get stripped away and we hit the wall, we are reminded that our only hope is in the infinite, eternal, and unchangeable character of God.
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” Prov. 18:10
“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4