The old saying goes like this, “God is bigger than your fear.”
People might say this to a loved-one when all seems lost, when there is much to be afraid of. It is meant to offer some comfort, some explanation for the fear that is sweeping away the lost.
Here is how I live: God is not bigger than my fear.
Yep, I just said that.
Am I ashamed of it?
No. God already knows this is where I am. He has already forgiven me, and He is helping me find my way out of that surprisingly disturbing statement.
Alas, this is what I believe.
God is not bigger than my fear.
I believe that any Christian who suffers from anxiety, whispers this same thing in the deepest, darkest part of his or her heart.
When your mind is sick, and it is your mind that controls you, it is difficult to imagine God’s healing and restoration could possibly occur in such a dark place.
A person with anxiety faces a constant battle of the thoughts. It is logic versus feeling.
I know God can get be through this, but I don’t feel like He will.
I know God can free me from my anxiety, but I feel like He wants me to suffer.
I know much of what the Lord says in the Bible, but perhaps it just doesn’t pertain to this level of anxiety, this all-consuming panic that eats away my belief in Him, one unanswered prayer at a time.
I can’t even tell you how many times I have prayed for the Lord’s peace, how many times I have begged Him in the dead of night to just reach down, and pull me out of the muck and mire that is my fears. He could do it in a heartbeat, yet, I always fall asleep exhausted from fear, not resting in peace.
My husband reminds me often that God is peace, but I remind him often that I have never felt this peace, that perhaps it just isn’t for me. A peace that surpasses all understanding? Foreign concept. Nonsense. Not in real life. Not in my life.
For those that may not be familiar with me or my blog, let me get one thing straight. The Lord is my Savior and I live for Him each day. He has saved me, revitalized me, restored me, and shown me His faithfulness in innumerable and inexplicable ways. However, there is one area I feel as though He has never touched–my fear. One fear. One fear that is the rock with which my anxiety is built upon. It is this fear that Satan has pinpointed and decided to use to finally take me down.
God is not bigger than this fear. My life has proven this to be fact time and time and time again.
When a taste of this fear, perhaps closer to a phobia, enters my mind, it feeds on every negative thought inside me so quickly I cannot even recall a Bible verse. It figuratively brings me to my knees in a matter of seconds. No logical thought exists and a wall immediately goes up between me and my oh so faithful Father. Satan begins whispering lies into my ear, and the Lord’s truth is drowned out by a panic that I am quite literally drowning in. It chokes me. I cannot breathe. I freeze, and I wait for it to consume me completely. This is the only choice I have.
I know I am not alone. Anxiety is quite common these days, perhaps this is why I could not help but write this blog post. I can think of many acquaintances and friends that have trouble seeing the Lord through their sickened minds. Well, believe it or not, I have some very good news to share.
You see, I have been in the fight of my life for some time now. I have been getting along perfectly okay with my anxiety for most of my life. Occasionally, it shows me its ugly side and controls me like its puppet, but I tend to regain composure as soon as the circumstance rights itself. Recently, it showed me its ugly side—a very ugly side indeed, and since then, I have not been able to find my way back to normalcy. It has continually picked at me each day for months, and throughout these months, I have been fighting with my God—arguing with Him, ignoring Him, and trying to give up on Him.
However, God in His immense love and unfathomable wisdom chased me down. While I was fighting against Him, He was fighting for me. He has slowly opened my heart to the idea that perhaps it is Satan I should be fighting, that there is an unseen spiritual battle going on right inside my home, inside my head, and Jesus is simply the only weapon I have to fight these demons.
You see, I’m quite flattered that Satan is trying so hard to tear me from the Creator of the Universe. He certainly fears my faith….as he should. Even in my darkest battle with this unending, excruciating, controlling fear—my faith has never truly left me. I have tried to walk away from it and go out on my own, but I have always known that I will go back to it. I simply don’t know how to function without Jesus, and I am painfully aware of my infinite need for a Savior, even when I am furious with Him, even when He seems absent.
As I write this today, I am still fighting for my life, but I am part of God’s army now. He is my dwelling place. God has finally, after years of torturous avoidance and constant setbacks, shown me how to fight off my fear, Satan’s handiwork. I will not stop fighting as I have seen, if only for a moment, the power of Jesus Christ, even amidst my strongest delusions.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a very long way to go. It is about retraining my mind—a mind that has been irrationally afraid for most of my life. I must let God’s Word conquer my fear, not once, but every day of my life. I now have tools to locate God’s peace amidst a hurricane of panic and negativity.
I never thought I would be able to say this. I never thought I would actually be able to smile, take a deep breath, and whisper, “My God is way bigger than this fear, because my God has already defeated Satan.” Jesus defeated Satan, and He gave His followers the power to do the same thing, to put Satan under our feet and carry on in His peace—a peace that we cannot possibly understand, but a peace that God desires all of us to feel.
I have returned to the safety of my Father’s embrace, to the wings that protect me from the arrows that fly by day and the terrors of the night (Psalm 91). God is working a miracle, a miracle I gave up on long ago.