Hey Little Buddy!
Anxiety. I know the Bible verses. Some like to claim that we, as ‘Christians’, don’t feel anxiety. We don’t worry. It’s in the Bible, right? God has counted every hair on my head, and if I go to God with prayers of Thanksgiving in every situation, I’ll be filled with the Peace of Christ.
As a semi-talented officer who has made some amazing PowerPoint presentations, I concede that this really briefs well. I can see myself, in an air conditioned room full of healthy soldiers with full bellies and a promising future, clicking through the slides. They are eating them up! “Don’t be anxious about anything, fellas! It’s all going to be just fine. Your armor will protect you, and your training will get you out of any obstacle, scratch-free.”
Bella, in the months sandwiching your brother’s birth, I dealt with some serious anxiety! As I did, I thought about our Savior sweating blood in the garden of Gethsemane.
Anxiety in the moment is human. We are human. I’ve never doubted the eternal. The eternal is easy. When Paul (in the Bible) talks about not being anxious, he speaks as a man who understands incredible suffering. Believing in salvation through Christ does not make hunger pains feel like a bowlful of chocolate ice cream in the gut. It simply puts the pain into an eternal perspective. Jesus did sweat blood for concern over the suffering of His children and the day that lay in wait. I hesitate to assume anything on His behalf, but I suspect that He was incredibly anxious! Therein lies the beauty; He was human. Humans get anxious in the present. He knew how the story would end, but he knew that the current chapter was going to suck so bad that it would make forty days in the desert seem like Boy Scout Camp.
I’ve run a few marathons. I get anxious about them. I’m fairly certain that a stray lion is not going to eat me at mile fifteen. I know that my body will not suddenly revolt into a fatal cataclysm. I know that the 26.2 will pass. But, the 26.2 will suck! And, for miles 20 and on, I have a special loathing for you that I keep treasured in the least Christian corners of my heart.* I get seriously anxious about marathons! I suspect that this is true for anyone who seeks to push out their best effort in a difficult conquest. In the garden of Gethsemane, I suspect that Christ was about to start the most difficult conquest that He would ever face. I suspect that He was incredibly anxious.
I am so thankful for your fat, healthy, precious little brother! The joy of his birth came with a healthy dose of anxiety. In all honesty, it was probably a bit beyond a healthy dose.
Bella, I know that you are watching over us from Heaven. Until I meet you there, I’ll deal with anxiety. Anxiety is not a failure of faith; it’s an acknowledgment that life on earth is not perfect. My faith assures me that this movie ends the way that it’s supposed to. The good guys win and live forever in paradise. But, no good story is told without some serious drama plaguing the protagonists and begging them to doubt the outcome.
Our story is an amazing story! I’ll deal with a little anxiety—or maybe a little bit more than a little anxiety—because it’s beyond worth it.
I love you so much, my precious and beautiful little girl!
*Sweet Lord, please forgive me these corners of my heart and help me to reconcile them with Your perfect love!