Posted by: Dr. Jennifer Fee | October 24, 2010

Anxiety Devotional: Joy & Anxiety Together?

18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
       your love, O LORD, supported me. 

19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19 NIV

In 1997 my husband Richard got a dangerous bacteria in his eye.  His extended wear contact lenses helped hold it in, so that by the time he exhibited some symptoms, the situation was serious.  When I took him to the emergency room and we were told there was a 50% chance he would lose all vision in his eye.

He spent two weeks in the hospital, and another three and a half months recovering, unable to work.  I was extremely anxious about a lot of things, but the most anxiety provoking thought that he would lose his eye forever.

As difficult as that four months was, like the Psalmist, I felt the love and consolation of the Lord.  At times, that consolation brought me a little bit of joy.  Like the check that came out of the blue to cover our rent while Richard was unemployed.  It reminded me that the Lord always provides what we need. 

I always connect with God by being out in nature–and there was no opportunity for that while Richard was sick.  I think that’s why I bought a little turtle, and named him “Flash.”  Flash kept me company during the 30 minute freeway commute to the hospital, cheered up Richard (I snuck him in), and he kept me in touch with the Creator. Finally, there were friends who diligently prayed for and asked about how Richard was doing. Their love supported us and reminded us that the Lord loves us and that we are in His care.

It was not an easy time.  I had a lot of anxiety about many different things.  However, there were many events and moments that brought “joy to my soul.”  You do not have to be lost in your anxiety, you can seek Him in the middle of it.  The Lord is unchanging and faithful. Look for the love and comfort that He provides.  It is possible to have joy and anxiety and the same time!

Thanks for reading!  –Dr. Jennifer Fee

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