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And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don't labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these.
- Matthew 6:28-29
For most of my life, I have struggled with anxiety. And for me, one of the most difficult things is breathing. Properly, at least. I breathe in, a lot. Sometimes it seems that everything I worry about becomes an intake of air that piles onto my heart. I breathe in, and I breathe in, and I breathe in. And because I’m trying to hold everything together, sometimes I forget to let go and breathe out.
Anxiety is a liar. It tells me that I am the only one who can take care of me, that everything is all on me and if things fall apart, it’s my fault. Maybe I wasn’t pretty enough. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough. Maybe I wasn’t enough fun to be around. Somehow, someway it’s my fault for not being enough. And after anxiety convinces me that this is the issue, this is why some things fail, then it tells me that I need to work harder. It tells me that if I put all my effort into changing who I am then, and only then, will I have a shot at success.
Then there’s the world. It tells me that yes, my anxiety is rather mean but if I work on having confidence in myself then my hard work will pay off. This isn’t always true either. Sometimes I can put so much trust into my own abilities and convince myself that I alone am enough. And still, after all this work on my confidence, sometimes I will fail.
So far, our options aren’t looking very good. Both the world and my anxiety tell me that everything rests on my shoulders. But if we look to the truth, if we look to what God says, we find peace in the answer.
Our Father knows that sometimes we are weak and broken. We are easily misguided and because of this, He tells us that we don’t have to rely on ourselves. We can be confident when we confidently trust in Him. He made us on purpose, for a purpose. And although the world can seem threatening, He tells us that if we walk in His steps, then we can trust that He will take care of us.
The Lord knows what we really need. Sometimes things in our lives don’t make sense. The things we thought were good may end up hurting us. We end up in tears wondering what we did wrong. But in these moments God holds us and points to the flowers in the field. They’re not striving or pushing themselves. They simply grow where God calls them. And because He made them, they are beautiful. And because they are His, they are taken care of.
Breathing can be hard. With every breath in, my body grows tired. But how blessed am I to have a God that tells me that I can exhale and put all of my weight onto Him.
1. What are some of the lies that have been holding you back from completely relying on God? Write them down, and turn to Scripture to find a truth that diminishes those lies. Focus on who God says you are, rather than the world.
2. What are ways you can remind yourself of these promises of His faithfulness? Whether it’s writing down verses in places you’ll see them or turning to a friend for accountability, find what works for you and stick to it.
God, I praise You for reminding me that the only voice that I need to listen to is Yours. I pray that when I am feeling anxious, I know to turn to You. I pray that I will call out the lies that I tell myself and correct them with Your truths. I am blessed to have such a loving Father, Amen.
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