“In many circumstances, as we experience anxiety, we may be tempted not to face it. We may be tempted to turn the other way and not acknowledge that it is there. But if God uses anxiety in our lives as a way to help us grow, then we must not turn away from it. Instead, we must engage our anxiety in a grueling match as we wrestle with what it may mean for us in our lives. Like Jacob we must be willing to say, ‘I will not let you go unless You bless me’ (Genesis 32:26). Or, ‘God, I’m not going to let go of You until You help me use my anxiety for good in my life!’
The paradox is that in our very act of hanging on to God we are free to let go of our own lives and our anxiety, allowing God to take our anxiety and shape us in a powerful new way.
Anxiety keeps us in pursuit of God. We are too tempted to not seek after God when we think we have life figured out. But anxiety is God’s way of encouraging us to not rest confidently in our own selves. Without anxiety we are too tempted to try to be comfortable, opting to choose the path of least resistance. But if we are willing to follow God, then anxiety is one of our greatest allies to help spur us on if we are willing to listen to it and engage with it.” (The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good?, pp. 98)
This post is the sixth in a continuing series on the topic of transforming your anxiety. If you would like more help in learning to use your anxiety for good, check out my book The Anxious Christian, and work through the questions, exercises and prayer located at the end of each chapter. This can be a powerful experience alone, or in a small group.
Post #5: Transforming Your Anxiety: Beginning to ReImagine Your Anxiety as Good
Post #4: Transforming Your Anxiety: Stuck in a Rut
Post #3: Transforming Your Anxiety: Welcoming Uncertainty Into Your Life
Post #2: Transforming Your Anxiety: Embrace Your Anxiety