Anxiety in the Face of Change
Anxiety in the Face of Change
Change. We deal with it our entire lives. While some changes are welcomed with open arms and excitement, others can evoke fear and anxiety. These changes can range from organizational transitions, relocating to a new place, starting a different job, the anticipation of becoming a parent for the first time, or even the disappointment of canceled plans. Each of these life changes has the potential to evoke fear or ignite a deeper faith within us. As we go through these changes, our reactions can vary significantly from one situation to another. In the face of these shifts, we may find ourselves wrestling with worry and anxiety. However, should we allow these emotions to overwhelm us?
In this episode, Taylor, Corey, and Matt explore whether we tend to feel anxious when confronted with change. Matt shares that anxiety isn't a universal response, as it varies based on the specific circumstances. For instance, if you've scheduled a dinner with your spouse or someone very close to you and eagerly anticipated it, but last-minute changes occur, your reaction will differ. The cancellation of plans by your spouse or a close friend would affect you differently than if it were someone less familiar. Your expectations also play a significant role in how you perceive and react to change. When it involves your spouse or a loved one, the weight of your expectations is greater compared to other situations or other individuals.
Seeing change as good
Joseph, one of the prominent figures in the Bible, certainly experienced dramatic changes and unexpected turns in his life. Siblings are supposed to take care of one another. However, Joseph's life took an unforeseen and painful turn when his brothers, fueled by jealousy and resentment, sold him into slavery. At that moment, Joseph had no control over his situation. He was torn from his family and thrown into a foreign land. Joseph's response to this life-altering change is a remarkable example of faith and steadfastness. Despite his circumstances, he continued to trust in God. Instead of succumbing to despair or bitterness, Joseph used his God-given gifts to navigate the challenges that came his way. His journey eventually led him to Egypt, where he was unjustly accused of a crime and imprisoned. Again, he found himself in a situation beyond his control. However, even in the darkness of the prison, Joseph remained faithful. In Genesis 50:20, he spoke to his brothers years after their betrayal: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Joseph's life story teaches us that even when we face change and adversity, especially when we have no control over the situation, we can trust in God's providence and remain faithful. God works through our circumstances for a greater purpose, and our response to change can be a testimony of our faith and trust in Him.
Seeing change as from God
Proverbs 16:9 says, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." This verse reminds us that while we may make our plans, while we prepare for the changes that come into our lives, it is ultimately God who directs our path. Trusting Him can bring peace during times of change. This verse also reminds us that God's purpose reigns supreme, even when our own plans are disrupted by change. It invites us to see every change as a part of His grand design, an opportunity to fulfill His purpose. When we see change as part of God's plan, we can put our trust in Him, even when we don't fully understand the reasons behind certain shifts in our lives. We come to accept that His purpose is greater and more profound than our own comprehension. The challenges and uncertainties of change become more manageable when we realize that God is the author of our story.
Seeing change as a gift
Many of us are prone to resist change, to fear the unknown, and to yearn for the comfort of the familiar. However, there's another perspective worth considering—one that views change as a gift. Even the most challenging changes have the potential to shape us, refine our character, and align us more closely with our purpose. Like a skilled artisan molding a piece of clay into a masterpiece, God uses life's changes to shape us into individuals of greater strength, wisdom, and resilience.
So, when change arrives, you have a choice: you can either succumb to anxiety or place your trust in the Lord, who reigns over every circumstance and guides us through the various seasons of life. You can choose to raise your fists and fight against it or you can choose to open your arms and embrace what God has planned for you in every situation, even in the smallest changes in your life. In times of uncertainty, when everything appears unstable, and the very foundations you depend on tremble, remember that you can always trust and rely on Christ, the unchanging one, who remains steadfast amidst every change.