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Tell Me the Truth

 

His Truth

A few weeks ago my mom reminded me of Psalm 91. I was anxious, and I knew a lot of my anxiety was of the irrational type.

I’ve talked about anxiety a little bit on my blog before, but not in great detail. I think mostly because I’m not quit sure how to write about anxiety yet. Everyone’s experience with it is so different, and I don’t want to demean or diminish or misconstrue such an important and difficult thing.

I know for me, anxiety is sometimes expected—like when I have a book deadline—and sometimes it’s unexpected—like when I’m standing in the airport security line. I start to panic but don’t know why. And I have to tell myself little, simple truths like, “You’re safe. You’re OK. You’re breathing.”

To some of you, that sounds odd. To some of you, that sounds like last Tuesday.

You have experienced fear in strange places too, like the grocery store, when you’re dropping your kids off at school, when you’re walking into work or a doctor’s appointment or getting in your car.

“You’re safe. You’re ok. You’re breathing.”– Those are such obvious things, but in my moments of panic, I don’t believe these things to be true. I have to actually remind myself of them, slow down and repeat the truth to myself over and over until my brain and body agree, and I calm down.

My mom, who has a lot of wisdom in the area of anxiety, told me to read Psalm 91 after I told her about what happened in the airport security line. This part from verse four struck me:

“His truth shall be your shield.”

Truth as a shield.

Isn’t this what I had done in my unexpected moment of panic? You’re ok. You’re safe. You’re breathing. I told myself truths to protect myself. When I read this, I wondered what it would look like for His truth to be my shield?

Just looking at Psalm 91, and not even the rest of the Bible, we can learn a lot about God, who He is and what that means for us:

He is a refuge

He is a fortress

He shall deliver you

He shall cover you

You are safe from the arrow that flies by day

You are safe from the pestilence that walks in darkness

You are safe from the destruction that lays waste at noonday

Evil will not befall you

He has given His angels charge over you

He will answer you

He will show you His salvation

Considering these passages, I think using God’s truth as a shield could look like this: If this is true about God, who He is and what that means for me, then this thing that feels very real and true in the moment, actually is not. For example…

If He is my refuge, then I am not out here alone, left to my own devices.

If He covers me, what others say and do may hurt me now, but they do not determine who I am.

If He answers me, then I am not calling out into the void for help. He is there, active, listening and working.

You fill in the blanks now:

If He ______, then _______.

The truth about God can actually protect you like a shield, fending off arrows, whatever form those arrows come in and whenever they begin to take flight.

We have to repeat it to ourselves often, for we are quick to forget. But the truth, friends, is on your side.

3 COMMENT

  1. Jackie Huskey | 22nd Aug 16

    This is such a great reminder that God is on our side. He is not some authority figure watching from above to see what we will do. God is love. Love will protect us. I really like the idea of God as a fortress. He is all around me, on all sides, above and below. How comforting is that thought when the problems of the day, and the difficulties of the world come at us? He protects us from the slings and arrows of the evil one. I’ve always loved this Psalm. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Natasha Russell | 23rd Aug 16

    Andrea,

    What a gift to have you share this. What a gift if we can lay hold of God’s promises and truth. I wrestle daily with anxiety and panic. Your spirit of openness is incredibly encouraging and healing.

  3. Cherylg | 24th Aug 16

    Wonderful thoughts, Andrea! Anxiety will not win with you…God will always provide just what you need.

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