At the age of 18, I began experiencing severe anxiety and anxiety attacks. I didn’t know why. It felt as if they were hitting me out of the blue. I couldn’t explain the cause either. I sought help from my father, who also suffers from anxiety.
His first tip was to open the Bible.
At the time, I thought it sounded frivolous. I couldn’t eat or sleep, I wasn’t functioning like a normal person. I wanted answers and an immediate solution. I didn’t want to slow down and read. I didn’t even know if I was physically able to slow down and read. However, I was at my wit’s end, so I opened up the Bible, and anxiety was not allowed in.
I was completely immersed in God and His goodness during that time. No, the anxiety didn’t immediately go away in my day to day life, but at that moment I knew I’d found refuge in God.
During the times anxiety hit hard, I felt so far away from God. My mind was too full of terror to focus and reflect on His Word. My father suggested I begin to memorize Bible verses, that way I could recall them during times of strife. It was then that I first read Psalm 34:4.
Psalm 34:4 states “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” (NIV) This verse would become the hope I would cling to. It was as each letter was inscribed into my soul. I heard a promise, of hope and a future. I was living amid Psalm 34:4. I was seeking the Lord. I knew he would answer me and deliver me from my fears. Now all I needed to do was live with Him daily.
As time went on my anxiety did improve through tools God has provided us on earth, reading His Word, and reaching out to Him in prayer. I wanted to scream from the mountaintops that I was living proof of Psalm 34:4. For I did seek the Lord during a difficult time, He did answer me. He did deliver me from my fears.
What was next though? My anxiety still bubbles up at times and worrisome thoughts enter my head. He didn’t undo Psalm 34:4. My heart knows if He said it that it is true, yet my mind wanders on. What if the anxiety comes back? What do I do when the worry doesn’t stop?
I then put Psalm 34:4 up against the future, because God’s word always stands. I will seek the Lord, and He will answer me again; He will continue to deliver me from all my fears.
Leave with the thought that whatever verse you find your stronghold in, it can be applied to the past, present, and future. Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” (NLT)