When I was young, my Sunday school teacher explained that the Bible was such a great book, in part because it was too complicated for the most intelligent person to completely figure out and yet the simplest mind could understand its core messages.
By spending regular time in the Word, you discover that what you read can often be applied to whatever you are currently experiencing. Make Bible reading a part of your regular routine. For example, I read my Bible every day as I walk on my treadmill.
During the last week, my reading gave me several verses to help me cope with stress. They reminded me of God’s power and His intent to take care of me, no matter what bad happens to me in this world of evil.
When the psalmist says, “Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you crushed be happy again” (Psalm 51:8), I find someone who feels like I sometimes feel–beat down by the world’s cares but wanting to feel weightless again.
This feeling of reaching for the light is further emphasized in Psalm 51: “Give me back the joy of your salvation. Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit (12).” I am reminded that I am supposed to have joy in this world because of my salvation through Christ, but that I need to have a can-do attitude that is willing to reach for peace when I feel most tumultuous. If I choose to find joy in my salvation, God will help me rise above the challenges of day-to-day living.
Do you remember the story of Samuel? His mother, Hannah, was barren, ridiculed by her husband’s first wife because Hannah could not have children. In a culture where children were the measuring stick of success, Hannah was an abysmal failure. In the psalmist’s terms, her bones had indeed been crushed.
Hannah could have wallowed in despair. Instead, she poured her sorrow out before the One who could help her. She promised God to dedicate her child to His service if she ever had one. Shortly after Hannah’s heartfelt plea, God indeed blessed her with a son, Samuel, who later became a renowned leader of the Jewish people.
In thankfulness for her blessing, Hannah sings a song of praise, in which she says:
There is no one holy like the LORD. There is no God but you; there is no Rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)
God had indeed served as Hannah’s rock. Her faith in Him helped her survive years of being barren and blessed her finally with children.
As a person with anxiety, I too must strive to make God my Rock, especially on my bad anxiety days.
How does God as your Rock look? To me, He is the boulder held fast in the midst of a raging river. The mist of roiling water might soak me eventually, but I will not drown. No matter how high the water rises, my Rock will always rise above it.
And rising higher still than the rapid water is the clear, blue sky that stands for the joy of my salvation, for the ultimate gift of a loving God that makes this life livable.
If you don’t already, make Bible reading one of your daily habits. Build upon the Rock of your salvation with the Word of God. You will always find something of use in your daily life there.