“There are countless side effects to anxiety, but they add up to one significant outcome: giving up. As much as any weight we carry, the weight of anxiety can become so heavy that if feels impossible to keep going. It can be so crushing that taking even another step seems unbearable.”- Kyle Idleman
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”- 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
In Chapter 4 (“Understanding Anxiety”) of Don’t Give Up, Kyle Idleman observes that anxiety slows down everyone. And if you name pretty much anything bad, know that anxiety is more than capable of getting it done.
Yet, no matter where you place yourself on the anxiety spectrum, Pastor Idleman stresses, God wants to take away the weight you’ve been carrying. Therefore, when you hand your anxiety over to Him, it changes the way you run the race.
However, it’s not an easy thing to do. Because that weight pulls you down while at the same time pressing you into submission, your weight’s legitimately heavy. Also, this process begins with everyday thoughts. Kyle explains:
“What began as a simple tiptoeing around your thoughts in comfortable slippers has turned out to be heavy sprinting in ten-pound ankle weights. You’re tired, worn, and just exhausted, and you feel like giving up.”
But when the weight you’re carrying overwhelms you, Peter’s exhortation to cast your anxiety on God seems to ring hollow. In fact, Kyle asserts, it feels a bit naïve, perhaps a little offensive. Hence, your belief about God determines whether you see 1 Peter 5:7 as lame or powerful. Furthermore, your willingness to believe that God cares and that He’s trustworthy, Kyle posits, has a lot to do with what you’re going through right now.
As we’ll see in the next blog, Jesus’ disciples faced this dilemma when a huge storm arose on the Sea of Galilee.
Today’s question: Which of the countless side-effects of anxiety affect you the most? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Measuring God’s concern for us”