This week we’re talking about a topic that most of us know really well: Anxiety. So many of us seems to fight it on a daily basis. If not, we give in and let it overwhelm us while we climb under the covers and hope it will go away.
I’m definitely a resident of Anxiety Avenue. I was bullied badly as a child and young adult (a post to come about that soon) both at home and at school. Most recently, in the past 12 years: my then-baby son was diagnosed with autism, my husband had a heart attack, he went into kidney failure and endured 5 1/2 years of dialysis, had a kidney transplant, years of therapies for my son (who is 14 years now and still non-verbal but sweet and smart and very present. After two years of fighting tooth and nail, we lost the house we built and lived in for 12 1/2 years, moved back to my home town to be close to my mom who had to be put in a nursing home suffering with alzheimers.
I’m very acquainted with the beast of anxiety 🙂 I’ve come a long way and continue to be taught that God knows best and will guide us through the times of life that feel like our heart will be ripped out of our chest. It didn’t take Him by surprise, and He will bring us out the other side and we will look back and be thankful for the things we learn through it that we could never learn any other way. That’s a lesson we take with us into eternity and for that much, we can be thankful.
I hope this week’s devotional will minister to you and I both!
When I read the 23rd Psalm, I am taken to a place of tranquility and peace instantly. My anxious thoughts quiet down at just the first sentence: “The Lord is my Shepherd.” I love the image of God being my Keeper, Protector, and Deliverer. I am not alone. I have His Presence with me at every hour of the day.
Have confidence that the Lord makes you to lie down in green pastures, which means that He is taking you to a place of rest and stillness in Him: “Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).”
If you are always running around and don’t have quiet time with the Lord, then how can you receive restoration in your mind, will, and emotions? Modern life can drain you dry if you let it. That is why so many people are emotional wrecks. They are running on empty. But God promises to restore us.
Once you receive rest and restoration in the Lord, then you can walk with Him as He leads you in paths of righteousness. He shows you how to think right, believe right, and live right.
Even though your circumstances may make you feel like you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, you will not fear because you know the Lord is with you. God’s goodness toward you will be so visible that even your enemies will see His handiwork upon your life. They will see God’s grace abounding toward you.
What is God’s grace? Grace is everything God is and God has made available to you. In old movies about royalty, you see people addressing the King or Queen as “Your Grace” as they bow down. Jesus is “Your Grace.” He gave His very life for you. In Him, you have a new identity as the beloved of God.
In Jesus, you have forgiveness of sin and victory over sin. In Him, you have peace and joy because He left you with both. In Him, you have love and with His love, you are empowered to love your neighbor as yourself. When you consider this, then you see that material things cannot compare with the riches of His grace! Because Jesus is your Shepherd, then you indeed shall not want when you meditate on all you have in Him.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalms 23:1-6 ESV
You can read this reading plan on YouVersion –>