- God will work all things to the good for me.
- I am never alone because I have accepted Christ as my Savior.
- The LORD is my shepherd, my rock, my soft place in the Valley of the Shadow.
- (As writer Charles Martin puts it:) The promise of His Word is truer than my fear.
I believe all of these wonderful things about our God in Heaven, and yet, like the man who proclaimed to Jesus, “I believe; help me with my unbelief,” I struggle daily.
When God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to escape the Egyptians, He created a metaphor for a daily walk in this Fallen world, especially for a person like me who struggles with an anxiety disorder.
For example, living with anxiety is like walking between those two walls of parted water, having to believe that I will not drown, that the only way I will get wet is from the spray that is inevitable when that amount of water is being held back only by the invisible hand of a mighty God.
Just as the Israelites had to step through that muddy surface that must have been the bottom of a sea now exposed, I often feel that every step I try to take forward, I am being held back by the mire. Besides slowing me down, my anxiety is like constantly looking back to make sure that I haven’t left a shoe in the mud.
When you are constantly anticipating how things in your life can go wrong, it’s also like feeling the breath of the enemies’ chariot horses snorting behind me as I hurry to reach my goal of the other side of a sea I shouldn’t even be able to walk across.
On really bad days, even breathing as I strain to see the other side of the sea proves difficult. Most of the time, I don’t even realize that my breathing has been shallow until the end of the day when my shoulders really scream at me.
And then there are the days when I am not even really able to see my goal. On these days, only my sense of responsibility and the learned discipline of a lifetime of this anxiety battle help me put one step in front of the other.
But what would it look like if I could go through all of that and really live my belief? What if I would fully trust that God is holding the water back until I reach the other side of my challenges? What if I fully embraced the knowledge that God works to the good all things for those who trust in Him, as Paul writes in his letter to the Romans?
Someday, hopefully sooner than later, I will know what a walk across a parted sea looks like on a daily basis instead of the fragmented moments I can claim this day. Until that day, I will continue to study His word, pray to Him, fellowship with other believers, and consciously seek to be saved from my unbelief.
“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” ~ George Mueller