Anxiety during anxious times

Christpoint Church

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 Years ago, I met this young lady on the first day of my new job. She exited her car, made her way across the parking lot and into the store. She approached the counter where I worked, and we began to talk. To this day, her stunning beauty was not what caught my eye as much as her confidence. I had never met a young woman so confident that it radiated through the stride in her very walk. As we talked, we realized we had common denominators that connected us. One was a video tape, others were her sister and several friends we had in common. I made a point not to let that girl get away without establishing a connection. Something that would be the reason for our reconnection at a future time. That was almost 35 years, two kids, seven grandchildren, and several houses ago, and we’re still going strong.

 A phone number and a video tape was the thing that would continue to connect us. Her mother had rented a video from the store where I was working on my first day, and she was chosen to return that tape, and I just happened to be at the counter when she came in. Actually, I stalked her through the window from the car to the counter and the rest is history as they say.

My life was forever changed by a video tape that connected my wife and me. Through that connection, I met Jesus, and my life was forever changed again. We seem to discount the connection and its ability to impact. We downplay the supporting roles as coincidental and forget the divine connection appointed by God himself. But here is the scriptural hard truth, and it’s found in John chapter 10 and verse 10. Jesus says the enemy comes to steal kill and destroy. Now, we seem to escalate that to an immediate assassination of our very lives. The devil wants to snuff us out before we even get started. But I believe the caveat to this story is the fact that the enemy has no intention of physically killing any of us. Let’s view this scripture in a different light, if the enemy can steal our joy, rob us of our hope and our future,, then he can kill our message of salvation and control our voice to suit his agenda. If he controls your voice long enough, then he will succeed in destroying your witness and weakening and ultimately eliminating the Christian message.

In this difficult time of heightened anxiety and depression, we can find that the enemy is working overtime to accomplish his kill, steal, and destroy tactic on us. Anxiety in our current state can usher in an element of fear, which will quickly turn to negativity and hurt. At that point, we are no longer spreading the gospel of Jesus but instead broadcasting the message of the enemy. He has successfully controlled the message and turned it within us to destroy God’s message through us and to glorify his own.

The repair is found in the 4th chapter of John. Jesus visits a well in Samaria, alone, while he sends his disciples away to find food. He is deliberate in his planning. He is alone at a well in the heat of the day, with no way to draw water, when along came a troubled woman, alone and weary. She is worn down from the heaviness of her past. Her life has consisted of adultery, shame, and guilt. The enemy has used her past to steal her joy. He is using her now to kill her witness, and he has successfully destroyed her life to the point where she’s avoiding people by coming to the well during the hottest part of the day when she knew it should be vacant. Imagine the anxiety and fear that gripped her to simply get water.

We are wearied because of the shame and guilt we carry. The pressures of this new season we are in only helps to elevate the level of anxiety we shoulder that we were never intended to carry. It weighs on us like the heaviness of water jars on a hot summer’s day.

This lady, however, met Jesus that day at the local source of water. Imagine, the thing that was her greatest need was the very thing she despised, dreaded, had great anxiety over, and yet could not do without, and that was her water jar. It had to be filled. She had to have the water that only came from the well to survive. The local meeting place where ladies would compare children stories and men fabricate fishing tales. Children would play tag and roll in the grass, while parents didn’t hurry to draw their water. They enjoyed the company of one another, and this unnamed lady was a social casualty. She simply didn’t fit in. So she made her trek to the well alone, she drew water alone, and she left with her shame and guilt firmly intact, shrouded with fear and anxiety.

One encounter with Jesus was all it took to change this lady forever. Jesus was intentional when he sent his disciples away. He was intentional when he was alone as a Jewish man with a Samaritan woman. Her fear subsided, her anxiety vanished as her shame and guilt became covered by one conversation. She ran into the very town she avoided earlier to preach the gospel. She left her water jar to spread the good news of Jesus. The thing she despised that morning was the thing she had to return for later and that was her water jar.

In this uncertain and fearful season, our lives can be consumed with fear and anxiety. The more we retreat, the louder the enemy speaks. The greater his voice becomes, the more control he has over our voice. We will remain in a state of this anxiety if we continue to cultivate the fear. It’s time to lay our water jars at the feet of Jesus. Leave them at the well, and know that his voice is what fills our jars. Something will connect us to our water source, be it prayer, study, or gathering. Our lives will never be changed for the better by the level of anxiety we allow in and cultivate. They will only be changed by the man at the well. Water jars can connect us to our shame and guilt and keep us in a state of depression and defeat, or we can use them to connect the masses to the master. God used this lady’s story to reach the people of the town. He will use your water jar to do the same if you will allow him.

I ask you to allow Christpoint Church to be one of your water jars. Let us be that connection for you. Let’s talk more about the connection and the water jars this Sunday at “The Point.” We’re on the square, in Sparta, at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.    

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