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It’s funny sometimes how things click into place and are so much better that you want to tell everyone all about it so they can be so much better, too. . .but in some quiet place, you know that the words are powerless. If anyone had shared those words with me even a week ago, it would have touched me not at all. It wasn’t the words, it was who spoke them.
I have been struggling for forever (you know, superlatives are the best!) with anxiety and with stress, and with carrying things around emotionally and not being able to let go—worrying over things in my mind the way a dog would “worry” a bone—not getting anywhere with it or resolving anything, just dwelling and dwelling on it. Little bits and pieces would come to me from time to time—about love casting out all fear (why can’t I feel Your love? Other people say they do), about dwelling on good things, about being thankful, about faith being trusting in things not seen, about believing that God uses all things for good, even things that don’t appear so.
And then this Tuesday, something clicked. God will take care of me. (Duh.) It’s not like I didn’t know the words; it was just that suddenly the words had power. God will take care of me. God will take care of me. God will take care of me. The anxious thoughts, the tormenting emotions—every time they would rise up, there would be my defense. God will take care of me. And the thoughts would fade away and the emotions would ease, and I would catch myself with a small, satisfied smile. God will take care of me.
It was still a very long week. I’m still exhausted. Things are still terse and stressed. I still dread next week. But I have this defense now that I can run to. God will take care of me. And He did. And He will. And though I dread next week, I am less afraid of that then I am that those words will lose their power and I will go back to having empty words I know are true yet cannot find refuge in. I want it to be that for the rest of my life, for as long as I live, I can say, “God will take care of me,” and feel a draught of peace spreading through me. But somehow I feel like I know that this is a passing gift, given in a time of need. He will always take care of me—always—but I may not always feel that palpable relief when I bring those words up.
(Somehow, I guess I get to thinking that this is a shadow of what it was like for Jesus when He walked this earth. That He was so close to His father He didn’t have to feel fear or anxiety or any of those other nasty emotions. But I guess if that was always true, He wouldn’t have been sweating blood in the garden, wondering at how quickly His friends were failing Him. Not that I am justifying my emotions; I’m only noting, as many others have, that God’s promise to be with us always is not the same thing as a promise that we will always emotionally feel that He is there. This is a concept I understood much better after I realized my physical nearsightedness was a good metaphor. I take off my glasses and I can’t see things I know are there. I put the glasses on, and there they are. Their existence never changed, just my perception of them.)