No doubt it’s happened to you at least once if not more. You’re walking along, minding your own business and then, out of now where, you walk into a spiderweb. Pleh. Pleh. Eww. There’s no other experience like it. The stick silk latches on to you, your clothing, face, or hair. You do everything you can to get it off and then your next thought is SPIDERS!! Where’s the spider? Where’d it go? Is it on me? Get it off! Get it off! And then, over the next little while, you walk carefully, looking around, putting your hand out in front of you, searching and looking for the next spiderweb you might walk into. And something happens. Your anxiety rises. Your heartbeat becomes faster. And you’re waiting. Waiting. Waiting for that next web to come. It might never come, but you’re expecting it and it makes things hard on you over the next little while.
Life can be like that at times.
You can be walking along in life, minding your own business, doing your own thing. And then, BAM! it happens. Something happens. Something occurs and it becomes hard. Unhealthy paranoia kicks in (and yes, there’s a healthy paranoia, but that’s for another post) and you start freaking out. Your anxiety gets high and you start looking around waiting for the next shoe to drop, the next spiderweb you might encounter. And then you live day to day for a while, searching, waiting, expecting something to happen.
Sometimes, after a while, it calms down. Other times, it doesn’t. Other times it just sticks with you and you can’t shake it, no matter how hard you try. And there are a number of times, when walking through these spiderwebs, that we feel alone. That we just have to be alone. And sometimes we alienate ourselves, push others away, even screen our phone calls because we just don’t want to interact with people. And we feel alone. It’s as if it’s just me against the world and the world is winning.
You are not alone. You are not alone, don’t push others away, don’t feel despondent. You are not alone.
What do we do when we feel like we’re walking into spiderwebs? What do we do when our anxiety and paranoias are kicking in?
“Cast all your anxiety on him (God) because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
God is here for you. God cares for you. In fact, he wants you to bring your anxieties, your fear of walking into spiderwebs, to him. He wants you to lay them before him, and trust in him during these anxieties.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
Present your anxieties to God. And there’s this qualifier–with thanksgiving. How can you present your anxieties to God in thanksgiving? When we look at our anxieties, we see that they feel bigger than ourselves. Things feel out of control. Things feel like we just don’t have a say in the fact that everything’s going every which way but loose. Take a moment. Thank God that he is bigger than these anxieties. Thank him for being there for you. Thank him that through these anxieties you can see that he is bigger than them and can handle them when you can’t.
But we must hand them over to him. We must know that we don’t have control over the spiderwebs in our lives. The only thing we have control over is how we react to them. The only thing we have control over is how we respond to these anxieties. When we bring them in prayer to God in thanksgiving to him, we have control in how we handle them, and the control we have, we hand over to God.
And then something interesting happens here when we do
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
There is peace. A peace that guards your heart and your mind. There is peace. A peace that gives you comfort in the midst of walking through the spiderwebs.
There is no doubt that you will walk through spiderwebs. There is no doubt that if you’ve walked through them in the past, you’ll walk through them in the future. And when you do, take those anxieties, take those fears, take those paraonias, and bring them before God. Trust in him. Relinquish control an d receive the peace that passes all understanding which we can receive from Jesus.
What spiderwebs are you walking through right now? How can you cast your anxieties before God? How can you trust in God with thanksgiving and receive that peace that passes all understanding?