(Journey Toward Wholeness Reblog from 8/26/18 Journey Blog Post)
Among the notes I made when I went through Anxiety Valley, I found these prayers:
In my distress I cry out to You, Lord (Psalm 18:6*). My thoughts and feelings say that my interaction with You is inferior to that which other people experience. I feel sure it must be my fault that I’m not connecting well with You, but I don’t know how to do or be different. These thoughts have a grip on me, and I struggle to break loose. The panic continues.
I see the source of some of my panic this morning— I compare myself to others, and I think of myself as “less than” and “failure.”
Lord Jesus, please help me get my eyes on You, the Author and Finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Father, You have begun a good work in me and will continue until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). Please calm my anxious thoughts. Please help me stay, anchor, my mind on You .
Lord, I had thought that if I practiced certain devotional habits like read my Bible more or pray more (or practiced them better), then my spiritual life would look more like that of Christians I admire. But You are God, and You want real relationship with me, not some imitation I try to conjure up by copying other saints.
Thank You God for Your patience with this stubborn piece of clay!
From my current viewpoint on the other side of the valley, I can see that I had fallen into “comparison quicksand.” I can also see that God threw out a plank to me in two of the scriptures noted in my prayers: Hebrews 12:2 and Isaiah 26:3. [Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith….” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”] Now when I’m in a similar bog, I can grab that plank by getting my eyes off myself/other people and onto Him, and He can pull me out.
For me that is easier said than done, but it is worth the work. Otherwise, I would continue to sink down into the comparison quagmire.
*Psalm 18:6 (NIV) “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”