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On Sunday I spoke about worry and anxiety. Our world, which seemed quite secure a month ago, has been plunged into uncertainty. Many people are uncertain about the future, about their health, about their ability to make ends meet. Social distancing, which our public health experts say is vital, is also very tough on many because it can so easily become isolation. I asked a question Sunday that I intend to address again and again until this crisis has passed. My question was something like this: “How can we combat worry and anxiety in a time of such uncertainty?”
Uncertainty can make your imagination run wild with possible negative scenarios of the future. How do you counteract visions of worry that come into your mind? Well, a great way to beat back those worrying thoughts is with a vision of the love, power and care of God. That’s where Isaiah 41:13 comes in. I just love the picture this verse puts in my mind, don’t you? Here is what I see when I read it: I see the strong arm of God reaching down from above me, offering me His hand. I hear an immense but gentle voice speaking those words, “Do not fear, I will help you.” I hear the smile in His voice and the sure confidence of His tone. He is the Lord, my God, my Father, my friend, so do not fear. There is no chance He will not be able to help me, so do not fear. I’m safe with His hand in mine, so do not fear. As He grasps onto my hand, I know He will guide me and direct me and stride along beside me as we walk through this difficult time...together.
Just like I said on Sunday, music is a powerful way to combat worry and to direct your thoughts to God! When you think of God’s mighty hand reaching down to take yours, you can sing this wonderful hymn:
Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light:
Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.
Every time worry and doubt rears its ugly head, I’m going to recite this verse, sing that song and think of that vision. I’m going to see the strong hand of God taking mine, the soft but sure voice of the Father speaking over me, “Do not fear, I will help you.” I’m going to KNOW that He is walking beside me, all the way.
I pray this verse, song and vision of the Lord our God will bring you peace as you think on it and remember His watch-care today, tomorrow and always until this troubling time is over...and forever!