I stood there, trumpet in hand, mouth drier than the Sahara, perspiration making me look like a drowning victim.
I was certain I was going to throw up. At age fourteen, I had voluntarily agreed to participate in a music festival where a professional musician would rate my performance. Anxiety reigned supreme.
Anxiety manifests itself in many ways, and countless things can cause it. I have experienced it, seen it, and known people who struggle with it. I have dubbed it the “what-if syndrome.” From possibly flunking a test to imagining the loss of our job or spouse, the what-if we entertain can ruin a beautiful day. Our minds seem to push us forward into fearful events, and we live there instead of in the present.
Jesus' teaching in Luke's twelfth chapter is devoted to anxiety. He teaches us that God's love for us exceeds His care for birds and flowers. He teaches about what lasts and what doesn't. God's care for our souls is greater than His maintenance of creation.
Faith family worship is a step across a threshold from the temporal to a close encounter with the eternal. It is turning away from the sickening dread of what might happen to the hope and joy of what is to come. Faith family worship challenges the notion that calamity is just around the corner and reminds us our Creator is in control.
Our worship with fellow believers reminds us we are not alone in our fears and our obsession with angst. We not only learn coping skills, but we also mix with overcomers who gather at the throne of mercy to celebrate God’s unconditional love and care. The encouragement and hope shared with fellow believers moves our attention from what if to the joy of what will be.
The anxiety battle, as with any of our suffering, can be a life-long struggle. God does not always cure us of our temporary maladies or erase the consequences of living in a fallen world, but He does promise His presence and tender mercies through it all.
Let your worship exchange desperation for hope.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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