Lucy puts her right hand on the tip of a football to keep it from rolling over on the ground so Charlie Brown can take a running start and kick it. We know what happens next. But Charlie acts like Lucy isn’t going to pull the football away because he tries again after failed attempts.
What if the writer of Peanuts (Charles Schulz) changed the story line? What if his cartoon portrayed Charlie Brown as an anxiety-ridden victim, traumatized by the bullying he claimed to receive from Lucy?
It’s interesting that what my generation called “butterflies” is now considered anxiety. But on the other hand, anxiety is real. If not, why are there so many verses in the scriptures that contain the word-anxiety. Regardless, as prevalent as it is, I don’t think God wants us to be frozen by it.
And two well known authors allowed God to melt their anxiety. I love bookstores! When I go to the Christian Life section (now categorized as Religion?) of Barnes & Noble, I’m always struck by the fact that there are more women writers than men regarding books addressing the Christian life.
Two of the most popular female Christian writers currently are Ann Voskamp and Lysa TerKeurst. Yes, the critics have said they whine a lot in their books. But Voskamp watched her sister get run over by a delivery truck and TerKeurst lived through her husband’s infidelity. Both women experienced “real” anxiety, but they ran toward it. They made a choice.
Someone made a choice thousands of years ago. He had big shoes to fill. After Moses died, God confirmed Joshua as Israel’s next leader. Even though God promised to give the land-Canaan to the Israelites, they still had to go conquer it. However, the Canaanites outnumbered them. So God told Joshua he would have to: BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. God repeated those four words to Joshua three times.
You may be following a specific path that you believe God led you to. But you feel lost because things aren’t turning out like you thought, even though you keep trying to make it work.
I was in training when I delivered mail the first time for the USPS. Instead of riding with an experienced mail carrier, I had to do it alone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’d never driven the route, so I wasn’t familiar with any of the street names. I felt lost as I was sweating bullets inside a mail truck that didn’t have air conditioning. My supervisor was timing me. I prayed for help. Inside myself I heard, Be Strong and Courageous. I decided to keep trucking and I’m still riding that learning curve.
You can be strong and courageous and run toward the unfairness of life or you can be numbed by your emotions.
I pray the following prayer often:
“God make me a man of strength, instead of one consumed with self-pity.”
“God make me a man of faith instead of one led by deceptive feelings.”
Whatever you’re facing, DON’T give up. BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!
Pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”
Click below to watch live performance of “Thy Word” by Amy Grant