I am a fear-ridden flyer. I gaze out the window on high alert for birds (and now drones), other planes, dark clouds. I study the flight attendant’s demeanor for signs of pending disaster. Is there relaxed banter? When they ask us to find the nearest exit, I’m counting rows and assessing the skill level of the person nearest the door handle.
Xanex and bloody marys have allowed me to reach my destinations. But I wonder about this faith of mine and why I fall prey to fear and anxiety. – not limited to plane travel.
An anxious Christ-follower should be an oxymoron, right? I picture God just shaking his head. “Oh you (Barclay) of little faith.”
Some have noted that the phrase, “Do not fear”, appears 365 times in Scripture. God is apparantly aware of this human tendency to fear. Why else would he be so verbose on the topic?
I take comfort in the accounts of Biblical Worry-ers. Moses, Jacob, Jeremiah, Timothy, Gideon. God does not seem alarmed (well, maybe a little annoyed) by their frail faith. He provided Moses with a companion in Aaron; he answered Gideon’s anxious prayers with miraculous signs. He even met Jacob face to face. And when Elijah fell into a depression, God provided food and shade.
For us in 2018 God can provide counseling and medication if needed. (though he may have sighed when I got my xanex script). He can encourage us with promises.
And he can be present. I AM is literally his name.
God also seems OK with weakness and neediness. He may actually prefer it. A perplexing verse reads, “When I am weak, then I am strong.”
So when I am tempted to notify the pilot about a possible drone sighting, when I fret about the future, friendships, or family – may I lean in. God can handle it all.
God also has a sense of humor. From the movie, Bridesmaids, this “I had a dream last night and you were in it” scene is hysterical.
God’s bottom line —
In this world, you will have trouble. But there’s good news —
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)
And from Philippians, chapter 4-
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Click here for more verses on anxiety.
Click here for more of the Bridesmaids airplane scene.