|(Downstairs office in our home)|
I bought a new chair for my home office. I had the previous chair for twenty years. I trusted it. I knew it would hold me. Therefore, I felt no anxiety when I thought about sitting on it.
Trust and anxiety do not live together. The more trust, the anxiety. To purely trust would be to be anxious for nothing. It would be contradictory to say, "I trust the chair I'm sitting in, but am afraid it won't hold me." Where there is trust, there is no fear.
There are objects of significant trust, and objects of insignificant trust. Objects of significant trust affect us; objects of insignificant trust have no effect. I may not trust the motives of the present King of France (nonexistent anyway), but my mistrust does not cause me anxiety or fear, because I am unaffected by his actions. I place no trust in the present King of France. But, my mistrust of our economy can cause me to wonder whether or not I will have sufficient funds to meet my needs in retirement.
This can breed anxiety and fear. To not have control over an object of significant trust causes fear. The more a person needs to be in control the less their capacity to trust. The person who is mostly filled with anxiety and fear is the person who does not *trust, or whose trust is misplaced.
There is a cumulative effect that results from a lifetime of trusting in God. A psychological confidence, a certitude, emerges. It is like the confidence one gains as a result of sitting in the same chair for twenty years, and finding that, through it all, it still holds. This is not illusory. I have met people who experience this. I have been at the bedside of these God-trusters as they lay dying. You have to be there to see the reality of this.
The one who places their trust in God experiences less anxiety. Therefore...
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge God. And God will make straight your paths.
- Proverbs 3:5-6
*I recognize there are clinical, neurophysiological conditions that cause anxiety and fear. The antidote for such conditions may be medications. But even when medications stabilize a person's moods, issues of trust may remain. Medication will not help a person when the only chair they have keeps breaking.
My two books are:
Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.
Leading the Presence-Driven Church.
I'm working on:
How God Changes the Human Heart
Technology and Spiritual Formation
Then, God willing, Linda and I will write our book on Relationships.