anxiety + Jesus

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This past week I have battled heart-palpitating anxiety more than I have experienced in a long while. Trembling on the inside and moving forward with smiles and pulled-together-ness on the outside, it has just been a weird, weird week. Not awful, not horrible, and actually relatively normal (despite the world feeling like it's reeling), but the anxiety has gone up and down. 

But tonight, I have this Name in my head...

Jesus.

The name is old, a derivative of the Hebrew Yeshua, meaning "to rescue," in which we find the Biblical name, Joshua. The angel spoke it to Mary at their annunciation encounter, that her son's name would be Jesus, and that His name would be great and His Kingdom would never end.

There is no other name like His.

My mom taught me at a young age the authority that His Name carried, and that at the Name of Jesus darkness flees and healing flows and light enters long-shadowed places.

The world feels dark, and shadowy, and shaky sometimes. But let me remind you that there is a Foundation on which a life can be built that will never be washed away, can never be uprooted, will never be shaken, can not be upended.

That is Jesus. I know Him... yet I've only glimpsed and tasted in my years of knowing Him. There is always more to know of Him. He is unreasonably Good and delightfully Just, firmly gentle and sacrificially strong; He is the King on the throne despite nations being in uproar. To you, and to me at-times, He may seem asleep under the deck of the boat, but there is no doubt that He saves in the storm.

I am wildly grateful for all that He is and does and brings and by His authority shuts up. And what I've learned about the battle with anxiety is that the antidote to anxiety is gratitude.

There is a hymn that has been in my head lately. If I had a spirit animal in worship music it would absolutely be a hymn spirit animal (sorry, Hillsong Y+F)... rich in theology, simple in melody, carrying the weight of decades and centuries of those who have gone before. This song was written by a woman named Louisa M.R. Stead after losing her husband in a bizarre drowning accident. As she brought the why question before the Lord, this is what she penned before Him...

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

I'm so glad I learned to trust Him,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend
And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood
And in simple faith to plunge me
'Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DdgkvnsHjM

Dear friend, please rest assured that in every area where anxiety seems to have its talons, I am singing this song to my own world-tattered spirit. Join me as we sit in our Jesus-chairs, settle into this song, and declare to our homes, schools, friends, and hearts that there is no one else worth loving and living for.

kate johnson

Southern California