This past week I’ve experienced palpable anxiety having nothing to do with political events or the pandemic. The cause of my anxiety is not externally influenced. No, the anxiety is due to several things happening within my family. Four of my five children are facing significant pivotal moments in their own stories, the details of which are out of my control and power to resolve. (side note – launching young adults continues to be soooo much harder than raising babies). There is also the matter of my book and/or book proposal now in the hands of a dozen or so potential publishers, the outcome of which is also out of my control and power to resolve.
Right now, this week, this moment, I am vulnerable. Thus, the palpable anxiety that is robbing my peace, sleep, and joy. I’m not, as they say, enjoying the journey or the unfolding mysteries.
King Asa, Solomon’s great-grandson, was a good and faithful king over Judah. He was strong and courageous; a leader who “did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God” (2 Chron. 14:2). He trusted God in the face of overwhelming difficulties and challenges, which led to many victories and peace throughout the land for decades.
In the 36th year of Asa’s reign, a relativity minor situation arose that led to him structuring a treaty with another king. While Asa’s human strategy worked to diffuse the situation, God was not pleased that Asa did not seek his wisdom on the matter. God sent the prophet Hanani to King Asa to bring correction for the king’s independent actions. Hanani said to Asa, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chron. 16:9).
Asa rejected God’s correction and became bitter. He threw Hanani into prison and began to oppress his people. Scriptures tell us that a few years later the king developed a serious foot disease. Again, instead of turning to the Lord for healing, Asa turned only to his physicians. He died a few years later.
Compared to 23-years of infertility and all of the other difficult journeys I’ve faced with each of my children, the situations before us are relatively minor. Yet here I am wound up by anxiety because I don’t know how all the pieces are going to come together. I am carrying my children’s hearts and hopes instead of placing them in the hands of God. I am trying to structure plans to secure positive outcomes, much like Asa’s treaty.
I’ve forgotten to seek the one who has delivered me over and over and over again. Anxiety is a sure sign that I’m carrying burdens that I need to give to the Burden Carrier.
Are you also carrying anxiety? If so, let’s believe together in the promise of 2 Chronicles 16:9 that the Lord will strengthen hearts that are fully committed to him.