O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
Psalm 139: 1-2
If you’re anything like me, you can sometimes let your pride get in the way of God’s word and direction. I am so guilty of this. Some days I wake up thinking, “I’ve got this on my own!” and “I don’t need help from ANYONE!” While I know this attitude is displeasing to God, I still choose it! I still find myself trying to do everything on my own because if I don’t, I see myself as weak, inadequate, and imperfect.
Imperfection. This is my greatest fear. For whatever reason, whether it be my upbringing or desire for success, I feel a sense of shame and embarrassment when the things I’ve worked toward fall flat. I know in my heart that God wants us to bring him all of our problems and that we are no longer slaves to fear once we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. But somewhere deep inside, I have always felt the need to have everything worked out before I come to God in prayer.
While I have struggled with this for a long time, this summer I experienced something that was out of my control and something that stripped away any thoughts I had about maintaining “perfection”─ and that something was anxiety. This July I had some health issues that were extremely scary. Consequently, I began to feel nervous and distressed. This eventually led to having uncontrollable thoughts that raced from the moment I awoke to the moment I fell asleep. I felt as if a darkness had taken over my mind, body, and soul. I cried daily because my emotional strength was depleted, and, to me, that meant I was a failure. I was lost, hopeless, and alone.
Desperate for relief, I began to pray. Immediately, God spoke to me in ways that I can understand, and He firmly instructed me to open my bible. I opened to Psalm 139. I read,
“O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know my thoughts even when I’m
As I read this, I realized that I was not alone. I was reminded that God knows my heart even when my emotions and thoughts are in an unmanageable state. He knows everything there is to know about me, for He is the one who created me. Even though anxiety was pulling me away from reality, God reminded me of his almighty power. To Him, my anxiety was a grain of sand, and when I discovered this, I asked and trusted God to take full control.
And guess what? He did.
Since then, I have learned to rely on my faith and not my selfish pride. I have learned that the recipe for failure is relying on yourself and what we believe is our own strength. I have learned that when I bring my troubles to God, He is pleased. If we allow Him to take full control of our lives, we are given the gift of peace and joy. I am in no way, shape, or form expected to be perfect, but I am expected to remain faithful.
I still deal with anxiety, but when it attacks, I know that God is the one in control, and He is my strength. I know that the dark feelings are not forever, but God’s power is. He is fighting my battles, and He is fighting yours. Trust Him today.
Do you deal with anxiety or something else that feels out of your control? I challenge you to give it to God today and release any expectations you have on yourself to have it all together.
What is holding you back from giving your problems to the Lord? Ask Him to show you what those things are.
What does remaining faithful look like to you? What can you change in your daily life that will help increase your faith?