The black hole of my mind.
I can spend hours pondering my future, internalizing anxiety and trying to over-analyze my heart’s current state. I can become absorbed in replaying memories, following threads into tomorrow, running and racing and lying awake. I mope over my lack of Christian growth and how I’ll never be good enough to xyz. Everyone is always better, more equipped, more focused. I could never write anything worth reading, have a grip solid enough on the Scriptures, know enough to have a ministry job…
My mental energy is often wasted navel-gazing at my own self. I have wept often and begged God to help me overcome my anxious, over-stimulated mind that runs until it’s exhausted. Where is the peace that passes all understanding? Where is God in my anxiety? Why does my mind have to do this to me, preventing me from enjoying seasons and moments too many times?
Why can’t I just be normal? Well, for a few reasons.
I am reminded of the paradox, the constancy of tension that exists in the Christian life. Because of sin, I am not normal–my evil nature is still restless inside of me. Because of Jesus and his cleansing work in my life, I am not “normal” according to the world, either: I have also been remade and transformed! As a daughter of God, I am living in a strange sphere of already-perfect before the Lord (Rom 5:1) and yet continuously grappling with my sin (Rom 7:18-25). So here I stand: a mind, rescued by Jesus Christ, and yet simultaneously doing spiritual battle with the darkness of my own soul.
Furthermore is lack of faith. My anxiety and restless mind is a result of thinking God is not enough, giving into the I-know-better perfectionism that threatens to claw back my heart. Here is the problem: if me/you/Susie Q truly understood who God was and is, why would we ever be tempted to give in to worry, to wrestle control from him of our lives? The more I study his self-revelation in his Word, the more I see his beauty, his sovereignty, his perfect plan which is right on time.
My anxiety is not his fault, not due to his lack of showing up. It’s on me. And Adam.
Jesus said that worrying adds nothing to my life: it is a pointless and exhausting venture, easily countered by the reality of God’s love and greatness (Matt 6:25-33). Worry is a result of sin, but also misunderstanding of who God truly is and how he truly relates to me. The proper response of anxiety is to run to this Father, not dive deeper into my own spaghetti tunnel of fear. It’s hard to do…the black hole is a void and depressing place to be, but it’s familiar.
Seeking God as my refuge (his Word, prayer, his presence) ought to be where I travel first. Let me confess, this path is not as worn as it should be; oh, I need to repent and rely on his strength to follow the narrower road.
Holy Spirit, will you keep me focused on the truth? Show me this truth, that you are in control and that is best. I need to grow. I am so dependent on you…
Renew my mind, O Lord, to set my eyes on things above and not on earthly things, because my life has been hidden in Christ where you are (Col 3:2).