Why You're Anxious This week
For a few days I’ve been crabby. Is it the Easter hangover? There seems to be an invisible cloud of anxiety wherever I go.
My wife noticed the agitation in me (she always does). “Why am I crabby?” I asked. In straightforward fashion, she called it. “Jeff, everyone is feeling anxiety right now. We’re in a crisis.” “Oh, yeah.”
Disaster always creates emotional and spiritual turmoil. It’s an obvious fact, and it’s critical to name it. I’ve talked to dozens of people this week who feel the same way. We’re nearing the apex of an anxiety curve.
It makes sense that we should be at this point. We’re a month into “stay home” orders. Novelty and adrenaline have worn off. We’re experiencing more of the ramifications: job loss, financial desperation, depression, death.
A couple of weeks ago, I sensed a growing anxiety in my family as we sat down for dinner. I asked them to each share one word that described how they felt at the moment.
There was a freedom in naming what we felt. We’re not alone in the burden. But it’s not enough just to sit in a circle for sharing time. It’s only a first step. What do we do with the anxiety?
I’ve been thinking about the nature of crisis in Scripture. The setting for every episode in the Bible is crisis. A disaster. An enemy. An anxious people facing legitimate trouble.
A brutal Egyptian regime has you pinned to a body of water with nowhere to go.
You’re staring down lions and standing on the threshold of a fiery furnace.
You’ve been plagued with a disease for 12 years, and as a last resort you reach out in a crowd just to brush your fingers against the garment of a holy man named Jesus.
You trust a man who rose from the dead, while those who killed him want to kill you too.
God always flexes his muscle when his people are anxious. Praise God for the Red Sea and the furnace, the lions and the virus. Yes, it exposes our fearful hearts. But even more it reveals the heart of God. He alone is the Rescuer, Helper, and Deliverer.
I’m feeling better today, but tomorrow could be another “crabby day.” It doesn't help to "look inside myself." In my trouble, I'm continually reoriented to God. He has a track record of delivering anxious people out of desperate situations.
4/17/2020 08:38:50 am
Jeff, amazingly, I have also experienced this "crabbiness" this week. Thank you for your guiding words, you were spot on as always. Blessings, Craig.
4/17/2020 10:38:58 am
This. 😭😰 Thank you! This expresses everything I am feeling today. I just got a text about a quirky story about a student... and I laughed, but then I started crying! I miss teaching and miss my students and pray they are all doing well. This will be the longest I have ever gone without teaching, and I am struggling & homesick for my classroom & for teaching.
4/17/2020 10:57:38 am
Easter hangover 😂 (not sure how you pastors do it, so thank you for all you do!)
4/17/2020 11:31:52 am
Thanks Pastor Jeff. I too have been feeling crabby. Being in the house for 6 weeks is too long but every time I have a crabby feeling I say to myself over and over trust God trust God trust God.
4/17/2020 02:13:21 pm
Thank you Pastor Jeff for sharing your thoughts about crabbiness. I also found myself crabby for no reason at all. I would talk to the Lord and ask Him to deliver me from my crabbiness, then I would take my eyes off Him, and voila -- back to being cranky. Then I thought about the people who do not have access to healthcare, homeless people, and others perhaps senior citizens who are in the midst of this Covid 19 pandemic and wonder what's next. I knew all the time, I had to put my faith in God wholly, not "sometimes". Last night I received a phone call from a family member stating that her husband had been exposed to the Covid 19 virus. With that, my faith has increased greatly and I continue to lean on God and His protection.
4/17/2020 02:35:58 pm
Thank you for your Easter messages. It is good to know you are there for all of us. God’s Word brings a certain Peace!😊
4/26/2020 04:58:07 am
People are getting wound pretty tight. What we need to do for one is keep the purpose in mind, I think that will help. We also need to come up with some kind of celebration when it all lifts.
4/27/2020 01:56:39 pm
Yes, I’m noticing an increasing tension as reentry is on the horizon. Praying for patience and grace as communities walk together. And yes, celebrating is good!
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