Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What to Do When You Can't Do Anything Else

I'm an easy one to peg in a tough situation. I am the worrier. I worry about everything. From how people are going to react to the logistics of what the outcome of the situation might be, I worry. I worry about things that never cross most people's minds. Let there be no doubt about this. This type of worry is a sin. What's worse, there seems to be nothing I can do about it. Oh, I can read the self-help books. I can get stubborn and decide it's not going to bother me. I can dig my heels in and use every technique I have learned to help myself get through it. However, when all of these are said and done, they are merely coping strategies. They are things to ease me out of the tangled mess I get myself into internally each time I worry about what is happening in the world around me. The truth is, the moment I worry and take the situation out of God's hands and try to do something about it, even by just worrying about it, I have sinned. It has become second nature to me to do so in every stressful situation. Scratch that, it was first nature to begin with according to my old Adam. I was born this way- blind, dead, and an enemy of God. My worry may be how that particular reality manifests itself, but it is a sin. The wages of sin is death, the Lord says (Romans 6:23).

That seems very accurate for my worry, too. When I get the old anxiety motor revving, I feel rather dead inside. I want to do something to fix that feeling too, but I can't. Again, I can work to overcome it eventually, but at its core when it first starts, I am powerless. It's just there. It's sickening and hard and I can't just wave my hand and make it go away.

That's the start of the blessing about this disease, however. If I could wave my hand and make it go away, I might get cocky about it. I might just think that if I can cure myself of this anxiety, I might be able to do other things, like cure myself of sin. After all, my particular brand of sin, namely anxiety and worry, is still just as sinful as other things that people struggle with in their lives. So, by not being able to cure myself at the root, like I would like to, I have to rely on something outside of myself to make me right inside.

So, off I go to the hospital I go, where I receive the medicine to cure my ailing flesh. It is a weekly thing for me and I cannot even really take credit for going, for if He hadn't called me to be His own, I think I would still be trying to cure my anxiety apart from Him through some other means. The hospital is the Church, where I receive forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. The medicine is the Medicine of Immortality, namely Christ's body and blood, given to me in, with, and under the bread and wine in Holy Communion. I was called by Him in my baptism, where He marked me as His own through ordinary water and the Word of God.

Where I drown in the weight of my sin, including anxiety, God plucks me from the murky waters and crowns me as a princess in His kingdom. He works through things like self- help books, psychologists, medicine, and His pastors to give me a glimpse of what has already happened to me that I cannot fully see yet. The anxiety has already been overcome. I have been made whole again already by Christ's death on the cross. I know it is true and that I will have an anxiety free body and life in heaven because Christ rose from the dead and I, too, shall rise again, and with all the saints, live sin free, anxiety free, and worry free in heaven with my God forever.