What if I suffer from severe anxiety? Mike Hillerman encourages believers to remember God’s redemptive plan for the world in the midst of distress and anxiety.
Remember God’s Sovereignty
When I think about what would I say to folks that are seeing all these things that are going on in our society, and are feeling anxious—and not just like mild anxiousness, but like, some pretty intense anxiety—what I want to do is, I want to remind them of what, in theology, is called the doctrine of God, and the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. And that doctrine reminds us that God is sovereign over everything that’s happening. And you have to really let that sink in. That even the things I’m experiencing right now in this world, that are causing me such anxiety or distress, that even that is part of his plan. It’s not outside of his sovereign plan, and that that plan includes a plan to redeem this world, to redeem all the stuff that’s going on. It will all be made right, and that that’s a certainty. That’s not something that, like, “I hope that happens.” That’s going to happen. That restoration and redemption is certain. And all that we are experiencing now, while it can be painful, it can be distressing, and it can be scary—all of that is happening within a larger plan.
Discern Your Calling
All that we are experiencing now, while it can be painful, it can be distressing, and it can be scary—all of that is happening within a larger plan.And part of then what we need to do then, is to not sit in fear and anxiety, but discern, “What would God have me do in the midst of this? What am I called to do? What am I called to be in the midst of a global pandemic and political upheaval and all of this?” And for most of us, that’s not some grand, national thing, right? It’s something very local. It’s something very, “My family, my workplace, my church. What is God calling me to do in those local spaces? How am I to be a witness? In what ways am I to help others?” And when we focus off of all these things that are happening out there that are big, and we shift that focus to, “OK, this is all part of God’s plan. What am I called to do? Let me start to do some of those things,” that can have a huge impact on the anxiety that we feel. We suddenly now have a sense of purpose, a sense of volition in what’s going on, and some ability to affect our world around us. And those are all really important things in changing our experience of anxiety.