Have any of you had problems turning to scripture when you are dealing with issues? I find I avoid it, because I just don’t think I can handle it. That is VERY bad for a person who is a teacher in Bible College, however I want to be brutally honest.
I get scared of what I might find – another verse that points out my flaws and failures, exhorting me to be more than what I am right now. I guess that is simply a satanic diversion intended to keep me away from the Word that can feed my spirit and make me stronger. Unfortunately, it has been a very successful diversion for a while.
Scriptures actually bring me a feeling of panic sometimes. I guess I am such a task-oriented person who is afraid of “getting it wrong” and “doing everything right” that I can’t handle the most important Person in my life giving me a task that may cause me to fail. I wasn’t always this way – I am just now learning that it is a result of my depression and my fears. Maybe I can use this avoidance tendency as a gauge for how badly I NEED the scriptures in my life.
Psalm 55 says:
5 Fear and trembling come upon me, And [d]horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and [e]be at rest. 7 “Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness.
Although I cannot say that horror has overwhelmed me, often fear and trembling come upon me, and I truly do say things that reflect my desire to simply run away. But I’ve tried that before, and it only intensified the loneliness I felt and the underlying sadness that remained. Why do I go through these periods where I want to avoid these feelings and thoughts instead of doing what I KNOW I should do – face them and speak to them with the Word of God?
Psalm 55 continues with:
16 As for me, I shall call upon God, And the LORD will save me. 17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. 18 He will redeem my soul in peace [n]from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me. 19 God will hear and [o]answer them— Even the one who [p]sits enthroned from of old— Selah.
Verse 18 speaks to me. What I want most is peace in my soul. What is my soul? My mind, will and emotions. I definitely don’t have peace there at this moment. I’m frightened again because I have no work and I have nothing to do, and that is like DEATH to me. And I can’t just do anything – I have to be accomplishing something practical and functional with my time and skills, or doing nothing at all. I’m such an extremist so much of the time.
Finally, Psalm 55 finishes with:
Psalm 56 has a verse that I learned as a kid’s song that I taught my children years ago, but which helped calm me as well:
That song is singing in my head right now, and I guess God is showing me that I need to return to a childlike trust in Him. But I know my mind will not rest until I understand what I am afraid of again. I don’t think it is the financial fear that is tormenting me. It is not fear of outside men. It is fear of doing NOTHING, something which for some reason TERRIFIES ME. There is a line in Sense and Sensibility which says, “Give me something to do, or I will go mad.” THAT is how I feel! (This is where I wonder if it comes from the Aspergers – I just HAVE to be doing something at ALL times, and feel like I have to be able to recount, at any time, a list of things I have accomplished and have to show for my time.)
Writing this post forced me to go into the scriptures, and if I would discipline myself to write these posts again, I would have reason to stay in the scriptures. I need accountability, and I have none from outside, and my discipline, although decent right now physically (I’m working out and eating vegan), my spiritual life is just not where I want it to be. I’m not in blatant sin – but I’m in avoidance and fear, neither of which is very godly.
So are you afraid of scripture during seasons of your life? Do you fear intimacy with God? I’ll talk about that next. Please share with me your experiences with your anxiety, fear and depression and its effect upon your spiritual life.