The truth and peace of the gospel conquers all anxiety.
This was the central truth from the passage that I got to preach this morning and I’m desperately trying to remember and embrace my own sermon as I battle anxiety today.
There’s really no way to beat around the bush with this subject. I have epilepsy. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. I have seizures and it affects my life. I’ve been blessed enough for it to not take the largest toll and make me dysfunctional as it very well could have, but it’s still a burden. I’ve had epilepsy since I was 4 years old. It’s always varied; it’s not predictable; it’s not something that be easily fixed, potentially never fixed at all.
I’ve grown up with the perspective that this is how it is and I should accept it. I can function; I should be grateful for the relatively low burden I carry compared to others. However, recent complications have arisen that have re-established relationships with neurologists. It began about a month ago with a trip to the emergency room after the worst seizure of my life and completely unexpected….never in my personal memory of my life have I experienced a trip to the emergency room…on my own, my brain not functioning, not knowing what’s going on. No control. A little difficult.
Now we’re re-evaluating the situation and I’m being told options and potential problems that I have never been informed of before. In my 17 years of having epilepsy, ideas like being a surgical candidate, the toll this takes on your personality, cognitive function and memory as you get older, the fact that I shouldn’t be driving… these are all just now coming to the table?
Here’s where it gets tough for me. I think, “Fine. I’m human. There are people who have it way worse than me and some of us are just bound to have medical issues. Fine.” But I’m truly struggling…is this medical issue easier for me to accept with or without Jesus? A large portion of me would like to think I’d be more okay with my brain deteriorating at an earlier-than-normal age if I didn’t have such a passion to share the gospel. The other part of me says that I can easier deal with this anxiety and burden because I DO have my Lord Jesus to hand it off to.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be made known to all; the Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I can rejoice in the Lord because He is sovereign; He has never failed me and He never will. He is righteous and upstanding and His ways are far better than mine. I can come before Him with an attitude of humility and lowliness, not proposing a solution but merely saying “Help me Lord. I don’t know what to do”. I can have a heart of thanksgiving that chooses beforehand to be thankful for the situation no matter how the Lord takes care of it. I can do all these things and THEN give my anxieties to God and He will fill me with His divine peace that no other source can give me.
This is truth. I know it. It does give me peace, but I will still battle. These anxieties have been a long time coming and they churn my stomach whenever brought to my attention all over again. Lord, why? I want to be an effective tool of yours, not a limited one!