Not anxiety about running itself, though there was a bit of that yesterday as well. We didn’t run while we were in Greece. Couldn’t seem to make it work. We either slept too late letting it get really hot outside, or we had to be out the door early for a tour or a flight. So, yesterday was our first run in almost two weeks, and we never let that much time pass.
Running is an anxiety remedy for me, so not running for a couple of week means that not only do I not have my usual anxiety outlet, but it also causes anxiety about my running ability after letting so much time pass.
Are you following? Does that mean I’m anxious about being anxious? Am I crazed?
Running is also when I do much of my praying, which certainly has something to do with the anxiety relief over and above any amount of endorphins and serotonin that running produces. It’s a pretty good combo now that I think of it.
The point is, I finally went running again yesterday, and the running wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be, but the praying was. Somehow, being out of the country provided a reprieve from the daily onslaught of distractions, but coming back home opened wide the door to frenzied thoughts once again. Every time I tried to pray I was bombarded with anxious thoughts…
Need to take a wedding gift to church tomorrow
Need to have two other wedding gifts sent
Car needs an inspection and the side-view mirror is broken
Child sponsorship program needs back pay from an expired debit card debacle
Kory’s college loan grace period ending soon
How will he transition from camp to corporate world?
He needs a place to live
That thing she said…ouch. What did I do wrong?
That Facebook post was harsh
Cooper’s move-in back at Gordon is soon
Does he need new stuff for his room this year
Need to go to Target
Tanglewood is one week from today. Don’t forget. Don’t double book
Seminary starts next week
Do I need to buy a new book for my seminary class?
I really need to buy groceries
I need to unpack
Everyone in my family needs a dentist appointment
A few minutes in to granting all of these anxious thoughts space in my heart and mind I realize what’s happening, and I wonder what God is thinking. I mean, it was only a few seconds after I started talking to Him that my prayers took an abrupt turn and into my long list of concerns and to-do’s.
So, I tell Him I’m sorry, and I start my prayer again.
Please forgive my distractions, Lord. Thank you for an amazing trip to Greece, for keeping us safe, our kids safe, for 25 years of marriage, for your grace and your good gifts…
I wonder how my friend is doing in the midst of her divorce
How could he do that to her? To his kids? To us?
Should we reach out to him again?
I hope _____________ is okay after her hospital stay
I hope she is settling in well in her new place
I wonder how much the church interns had to help with that after we left
Women’s ministry team has a meeting in a couple of weeks
What should our postcards look like? Maybe __________ can help with that?
What if someone doesn’t like the things we have planned?
Will this event/small group/Bible study cause offense?
Kayla starts school in one week
I hope her books arrive on time
I hope I got all the books she needs
She’s anxious about starting her senior year
I want to help her with that
How can I lift her burdens?
I need to pray with her about it more
We need to have ____________ over for dinner
I hope ____________doesn’t think I’m ignoring them
I need to respond to that email
I need to be sure and write Airbnb and TripAdvisor reviews for our hosts and tour guides
I need to find a job in the next year
Where should Kayla go to college?
College loans x three kids
Should I reach out to _______________?
She may not want me to reach out, but she might also be waiting for me to.
I don’t know…
Oh, Lord. I’m doing it again! I’m so sorry. I don’t know why I can’t pray today. Help me to pray.
This is how He answered…
Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Psalm 55:22)
…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (I Peter 5:7)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God… (Philippians 4:6)
And so, because those are the verses that came to mind as I asked for His help, and also because I really could not focus in the type of prayer I was trying to manufacture, I just started casting.
Casting the cares that were flooding my mind.
Lord, be near to ____________ and give her peace.
God, restore their family and grant much comfort in the meantime.
Casting the anxieties that were troubling my heart.
Lord, protect our country and turn the heart of our president to you.
Father, provide for the finances and the debt.
Casting the burdens that were weighing heavy on my shoulders.
God, give us strength for the school year.
Lord, give me wisdom and discernment about this person. Give me love for them.
Letting the long list of requests be made known.
Father, you know we need this.
Lord, draw his heart to you.
God, show her her calling.
Father, give me efficiency in time and productivity in all the work.
It felt disjointed, unorganized. It didn’t follow any acrostic. There was no adoration or confession, really. In short, it wasn’t the prayer I intended to pray, but it was clearly the one I needed to pray.
What a relief (what grace!) that God anticipated our anxieties and scattered all throughout His Word reminders that He wants to carry them for us. He continued showing them to me throughout the day…
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; (Psalm 139:23)
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. (Psalm 94:19)
and in His typical and tender way, He reminded me of this at the end of my run and again at the end of the day…
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Yesterday it was a running list of worries running me into a frenzy – and even about the actual running itself. (Help!)
Today it is a running list of promises that relieved that frenzy.
I’m really looking forward tomorrow’s run.