Sometimes, anxiety hits so hard it leaves me shellshocked. My thoughts and emotions run at a frantic pace to any semblance of control, but because control is an illusion it disperses the moment I lay my hand on it.
Slowly, I am learning some new ways of dealing with fear, of bringing the resources of God and his kingdom to bear on it and it is making a difference. Slowly.
This poem by Walter Brueggemann helps me remember that God is larger than my fear, that what I need is not control but trust.
We do not really know about running and hiding.
We do not have any real sense, ourselves, of being under assault,
—for we live privileged, safe lives,
—learning in a garden near paradise.
Nonetheless the fear and the prayer
—live close beneath the surface…
———enemies we cannot see,
———old threats lingering unresolved from childhood,
———wild stirrings in the night that we cannot control.
And then we line out our imperative petitions,
—frantic… at least anxious;
—fearful… at least bewildered;
Turning to you, only you, you… nowhere else.
In the midst of our anxiety, confidence wells up,
In our present stress, old well-being echoes.
We speak and the world turns confident and grateful,
—not because we believe our own words,
—but because of your presence,
———your powerful, bold, reliable presence
——————larger than fear,
——————larger than anxiety,
——————large enough… and in our small vulnerability,
—————————we give thanks.
On reading Psalm 54, after the World Trade Center bombing, Sept 26, 2001.