When Anxiety is Stubborn and God is Distant (Psalm 13)

If you're like us, you could use a boost to help you move from Sunday to Monday! Here are some quotes from today's sermon, mixed in with the text of Psalm 13 itself--to help us along. Can we convince you to slow down and read a long post?! If not, no worries. You can simply scroll down to the bottom for some next steps.

"Psalm 13 is not a silver bullet for treating anxiety. Sometimes a doctor or a nutritionist is needed. But if you only treat anxiety horizontally, you'll never truly treat it. A relationship with God needs to be at the core of it."

"Here (in Psalm 13), God gives us a particular response to prolonged, chronic anxiety. A prayer for people who are stuck or trapped."

Here's a breakdown of Psalm 13--including the text itself:

It Helps Me Understand My Anxiety
(God is ready to listen, and He gets us when we feel forgotten, or that He's hiding, or that our plans aren't helping, or that we are losing the battle.)

1  How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2  How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

It Helps Me Pray for My Anxiety
(David doesn't believe his own feelings--that God has turned away. By faith, He pleads with God to hear and answer. He asks for God to help him see that God is winning when He prays, "Light up my eyes.")

3  Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4  lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

It Gives Me Hope for My Anxiety
(Even though we may feel like we are tired-out swimmers in the deep waters of a murky lake, we can choose to put our feet down and recognize that the solid ground of God's saving love is actually there at our feet--ready to keep our heads above water. Even though we may not feel hopeful about God making good on His promise, we can express anticipation and count on Him to grow that anticipation in us.)

5  But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6  I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Take some time (maybe a 10-20 minute chunk) to read, re-read pray along with Psalm 13. Short passages like this are great for repeat reflection.

Think about how Jesus bore the heavy weight of anxiety. He was forgotten, rejected, full of sorrow, and humiliated. He carried that so that we can one day be free of it.

"Anxiety exposes our utter inability. I will never defeat anxiety this side of heaven. I'll battle it. I will never defeat it. But I belong to the One Who has, and that's enough."

Consider using this spoken-word video to help you reflect on how we are in God's grip even when anxiety feels like it has a never-ending grasp on us.