Anxious, Stressed out?
Back in the olden days May 2004, before the first iPhone was invented in 2006. I was taking a class wilderness survival class in the mountains of British Columbia Canada. The purpose of this class was to teach survival skills to ready you for any situation, and to give you some in field training, so you would be equipped if anything were to happen. This was a great class. After teaching us to start fires with no lighter or matches, they would teach, shelter building skills. It was useful, and eye opening. The pinnacle of the class was to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere by oneself, for around three days. We were told to stay put and to leave signal flags out to show that we were ok. We would be graded on a few different areas. One would be if we started a fire with a primitive method, another was shelter building. All we were allowed to take with us was the clothes on our back, a four by six-foot sheet of plastic, a don't shoot my bright vest, and some bear spray (a backcountry essential in the mountains of British Columbia. As well as a knife.
This was great for many of the students, and I love the outdoors, hiking, climbing, and camping. It should have been a breeze. However, I am scared of the dark, ants and being alone. All three fears I would encounter on this trip. To top it off, I struggled a bit with my sugar levels, and if I were to miss a meal I would quickly run out of energy.
There I was, about to be dropped off to literally face all of my fears at once. What to do? The teacher gave us a few minutes to prepare. So I found an open field and as the sun crested over the partly cloudy skies there in the mountains I saw this scene that words cannot describe. It was one of those moments of perfect scenery that takes your breath away, I sat down, and began to pray, "Lord give me peace." I prayed for a minute or two and then was overwhelmed by the feeling that I should open my Bible. I took a few seconds enjoying the scenery. Pulled out my pocket-sized Bible and opened it randomly. There it was Psalm 121. Needless to say, it immediately became my favorite psalm.
In that Psalm surrounded by those majestic mountains, I read this...
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
Peace rushed over my heart, and in the moment, I had experienced something amazing. Peace, true peace. When we trust in God, anxiety stress and frustration can be washed away. Philippines 4:6-7 says, 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Moments earlier I didn't know what I was going to do. When I turned it over to God He supplied me with peace. I was dropped off in the middle of nowhere for the next three days, but I was never alone. Although the ants, the wilderness, the darkness where all around me, I was at peace. To this day, I remember that trip as being one of the best experiences of my life. Whatever your situation, whatever you are going through, put your trust in God and he will supply what you need to make it through.
Head to the daily-walk to find an assignment to help you find stress free living.
Texts in this post were from the: New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995)
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Ryan Hodgins, pastor, coach. Married to a gorgeous wife. Father to three girls. I need this epic walk.
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