Dealing with Anxiety

Today I got afraid of failing, not doing good enough, or just disappointing myself. It stresses me physically and mentally, and I start worrying about everything. Everyone can feel this way, or worse for various reasons. But no matter the severity or circumstance we all have the same thing in common: what we see. What does everyone experiencing anxiety see? My father shared with me Matthew 17 which opened my eyes to the one thing I should be focusing on during this time.

Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. – Matthew 17:3

The circumstance bringing about our anxiety isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s what we see while it’s happening that matters. During the transfiguration of Jesus, there were three witnesses: Peter, James, and John. During this miraculous event, fantastic things happened that could really stress someone out, confuse them, make them anxious, or afraid to disappoint:

There, Jesus was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. – Matthew 17:2-3

Can you imagine seeing someone like that? Can you imagine seeing two of the greatest prophets and leaders in history together alongside God himself? It’s a stressful moment. Sometimes we flounder, looking for a solution to our stressful problem, we look for options, we try to come up with something to do because everything going on is overwhelming us and it’s confusing! Peter does that:

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” – Matthew 17:4

But the things we come up with don’t matter, they’ll never matter. They won’t fix the problem, they won’t remove the stress, they won’t solve all of our fears. The options we come up with don’t work and God knows they don’t work:

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. – Proverbs 14:12

Peter’s suggestion is pointless and God speaks over him:

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” – Matthew 17:5

God is handing us the solution to anxiety, fear, confusion, and stress on a silver platter. He will talk over us while we’re bumbling around and give us his solution. How we respond is important, and we need to do exactly as the disciples did after hearing God speak over them:

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. – Matthew 17:6

You need to stop what you’re doing right now and fall facedown to God. We see a lot of things when we experience anxiety, mostly problems, or solutions, or Moses and Elijah. But when we stop and submit, we will see one thing only:

But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. – Matthew 17:7-8

If you’re experiencing stress, anxiety, fear, confusion, or anything that makes you feel trapped or lost, remember that God is speaking right now and all you need to do is stop. Jesus will take away your anxiety, your fear, your confusion, your floundering, and your pain. You will see no one except Jesus, and you will be at peace.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

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