“The answer to anxiety is the adoration of Christ.”
This was a sentence in a book I’m reading called One Thousand Gifts – A Devotional. It has pages in the back of the book for writing down thanks, which I’m on my second year now of recording three a day. And honestly, it’s not as easy as it sounds, to notice and record three things a day that are different from the normal noticings like health, family, food and shelter. It has required me to dig deeper, notice more. And now, I’m reading again the phrase I just typed in quotes.
I’m reading it at 3am in the morning because I’m wide awake and wondering all sorts of things, as I suppose moms do, sometimes. I trust you, God, but… That’s what I’m thinking about - all the cares of life right now that are weighing on me heavily. All the what-if’s and sureties of life, and trying to place them in His hands for now and for my future, is hard for me, this morning. I feel anxious and afraid, lonely and concerned for my family, our future, and yes, even for today.
I awaken because I cannot sleep, although I’ve tried. I prayed, but those prayers only felt like whines and worries, not really releasing and rest. I found myself thankful at a good report for a family member yesterday, when I know others received bad reports on the same day, somewhere. Because that’s how days are, here on this earth. Good days are darkened by clouds and storms, but I know that dark days are lightened by sun and pops of color from the seeds that germinate deep in the ground.
photo courtesty of Doug Gephardt
But this day, this early morning, I don’t want the darkness or the waiting or the peace I have to pursue. I don’t want to wonder and worry, although it’s what I’m doing. And then I rise, I pull out my book of thanks, and I read that phrase in quotes above. I type it again.
“The answer to anxiety is the adoration of Christ.”
And yet, I know that what I really want the answer to anxiety to be is the absence of things to be anxious about. Isn’t that what we all want? No disease, no loss of friends and things, no injuries and wounds, no disappointments and frights, no emptiness and loneliness…wouldn’t that then bring a restful night without waking in wonder?
I just finished sharing an entire devotional series looking at the book of John, and I read over and over again about Jesus performing miracle after miracle. However, that didn’t stop the questions that the leaders had daily…about who Jesus was, what he was doing, and his speech and movement among them. It was the fact that they never believed and received who Jesus said he was – the Son of God – the Savior of the World – and the knowledge that He is enough. Not their religious duties and even obedience, but rather HIM.
And as I sit here, I realize that I have forgotten how to adore Him. I’m pretty sure I know how to praise Him, using words that exalt his name and lift him high, but I’m thinking anyone can do that. Words are words, whether sung or typed out or written with pen, but adoration? That’s a posture of my heart, which has not been in that space in a long while…at least for more than few moments at a time.
Adoration is even more than worship, as it carries with it reverence and awe and love and respect. And to adore someone is to absolutely love their presence and their being. And I think I’ve pretty much desired - more than His presence, more than his being - his action on my behalf and the behalf of others around me to make my life happy and full.
So here I sit at 3:30 am now, feeling sleepy, yes. But I so want my soul to be settled. Or do I, really? If it means I have to sit and adore him, but still go about my day wondering about her and him and they and those, did I really adore HIM? Because all of that wondering brings me anxiety and fear. I really would like to adore him for an hour and then that adoration to move his hand to move their hearts and heal that one’s body, and for all the world to smile, so I can go on about my day carefree and happy.
I want to enjoy my home, enjoy my children, enjoy my moments, and not have my home sit under a hailstorm or shift on drought-struck land underneath it. I want my kids to like me as much as they liked me when they were small, but now they stand tall and some days don’t need me at all. And those moments of joy in a day full of toys, I want them to last and last, but the toys soon break and my back starts to ache…because I’ve lived decades and more…and I must learn to adore.
Adoration of my Lord is the answer to my anxious soul.
So here I go…and I feel so new at it…though I’ve done it I’m sure…before. I feel like a toddler stepping into the pool, unsure if she’ll sink or if she’ll swim, but then she looks and sees and feels that hand. The hand of her Father firm and tight, as He steps in beside her, and she smiles with glee. For there’s no danger of falling or drowning or fear, when he’s near. And she starts to splash and to play, unafraid of the day…
And then I also remember this verse, from the Bible:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I’m pretty sure I’ve only experienced peace that “surpasses all comprehension” in the middle of my greatest losses in life; and that peace was only present for a few minutes. But I remember how it tasted. It never was set before me when all was going my way, but rather when nothing was happening that I understood.
Come with me. Let’s adore Him together. Let’s be anxious for nothing.
It’s now 3:45 am. And I just looked it up. The darkest part of the night is actually midnight. And I’m way past that…and that makes me smile.
Be still, my anxious heart. Find a way to sit and adore, not just worship with words. Adoration of Christ, the One that laid down his life…so that I can now live…free from guilt that I woke up one morning too afraid to sleep…while He was there right beside me with peace to guide me and guard me as he called me still closer to gaze in His eyes and adore…and move from the shallow into the deep…