“When are you available for the MRI?”
The voice echoed in my ears. Really. It echoed in my ears. That was the problem. For months, I’d been hearing as though I had both hands over my ears. My own voice was amplified in my head. I could hear my heartbeat and my footsteps … and it was driving me batty.
“The sooner the better. My anxiety level is out the roof.”
And to that, she made me an appointment for the next morning.
I was nervous. The unknown is always a kicker, but at the same time there was a sense of relief that the test would soon be over until … the woman called back and informed me my appointment would be moved to the following Wednesday.
Great. Now I have a full week to dwell on this ordeal.
“Just be thankful we can get you in before Thanksgiving.”
It’s hard to be thankful in the midst of anxiety. You don’t sleep. Your stomach turns. Anxiety is no fun. So when Paul encouraged us not to be anxious about anything and then to be thankful, I had to wonder if he knew what he was talking about. How can you be anxious and thankful for the issue that’s making you crazy?
Paul was a pro at hardship. He’d been beaten, shipwrecked, starved, imprisoned, and yet he reminded us he counted it pure joy. AND he was thankful. Paul experienced the worst of the worst and came out forgiven. Through being blinded by God, his hardened heart shifted and he experienced peace. He knew better than anyone that anxiety did nothing but draw him away from God, and he opted to be thankful instead. Paul learned the power and peace of offering every trial before God, and that gave him valuable, incredible confidence in the promises of God.
Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful to a God who seems physically intangible. If we could just look Him in the eye, we’d feel a little easier. But handing over anxiety and being thankful is twice as difficult. The fact is, there is good even in the bad, and God knows the good that lies ahead. For us, it’s all about faith.
Our country faces hardship and healing. The world presses its agenda against what we know is right. But through it all, God is in control. Knowing that truth not only gives me hope but also makes me thankful.
As you celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday, let go of the stresses you feel. Offer up petitions and prayers, and then be thankful. Even at our worst, we have much for which to praise Him.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)