Dealing with Anxiety – Study 9 – Mary & Martha

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Our time line is different than God’s. We have all been in our houses longer than we want. We continue to pray and wait for God to act in supernatural ways. I fluctuate between contentment and restlessness. How can I learn to wait better?

Today we are looking at two sisters who asked in faith, but Jesus didn’t follow their timeline. Their names are Mary and Martha and their story is found in John 11:1-53.

Here is the template. anxiety template

What were the disciples struggling with. (vs. 8, 16) For a background on why they felt so strongly look at John 8:58-59 and John 10:24-31.

Notice the two different responses of the Jews in verses 45-46. Which group am I in?

How did the chief priests and Pharisees respond when they got the report. (vs. 47-48) What were they worried about? What was their ultimate goal? (vs. 53, 57)

Our hope is plainly laid out in verses 25-26. Take note of what it is. What have I been focused on these past weeks? What is my ultimate goal?

There are so many layers here. Take your time.

 

 

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 8 – Mary

Two days ago Lake Michigan was dark and brooding.

Spring has been hard on the shoreline. Big sections of the beach are underwater. Crashing waves have taken bites out of the dunes, hungrily ripping some trees out by their roots.

The fallen trees emphasized the mood of the day. I was discouraged…tired…

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Two days later the lake’s mood had shifted.

The sun was warming our faces and there was no wind to speak of.

The lake was one with the sky. Only a sliver of white separated them.

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It was as if God had used a pallet knife to put the clouds in place, just so.

We found comfort in the stillness.

God uses every means available to Himself to reassure us of His presence and care.

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Today we will be looking at someone who was reassured by an angel. Her name is Mary and her story is found in Luke 1:26-51.

Here is the template if you need it. anxiety template

Her world was about to be turned upside down. Notice her response.

Notice what the angel says to her that calms her spirit.

Verses 47-56 give quite a description of God. Take comfort in who He is.

All for now.

 

 

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 7 – Abigail

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This park is just a few miles from our house. When I stand and look at Lake Michigan it reminds me how small I am.

We can feel overwhelmed by all that is going on, but the lake reminds me that God is bigger than all of this.

Here are a couple of verses that put it in perspective.

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales?” – Isaiah 40:12

“Or who enclosed the sea with doors, When bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it, And I set a bolt and doors, And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?” Job 38:8-11

Job was struggling with many calamities. God doesn’t answer his questions, but instead explains who He is. (See Job chapters 38-41)

Here is Job’s response to God.

“I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted…I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees Thee; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:2, 5-6

We don’t know how all of this will play out, but we know we serve a good God. He has a purpose and plan that is far beyond our imagination. No matter how difficult the circumstances; remember He has promised to be with us.

Believe it!

Today we are looking at someone who my friend, Kathy, suggested. Her name is Abigail and her story can be found in I Samuel 25:2-42.

Here is the template. anxiety template

Here are a few other questions.

What advice did Abigail give David? vs. 24-31 (It’s complicated, take your time.)

What happened to Nabal?

What was David’s response in verse 39?

Starting on Friday I’ll be shifting to the New Testament.

 

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 6 – Elisha’s servant

Life seems surreal these days. The strangeness of our new every day lives is unnerving.

The unknown is what makes us afraid. We are all trying to cooperate with the new rules, but it is hard. None of us knows what the best course of action is.

I have tried to get out and walk every day. I am less likely to meet someone at the small local parks.

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My grandson asked me if I would come and pick him up yesterday. His mother had told him no, but he was hoping I could overrule his mother’s decision. When I called my daughter to discuss his request we agreed we needed to stay put in our own separate houses. She told me I had broken his heart. I was fighting back tears myself.

These inconveniences we are dealing with are mild compared to the passage we are looking at today. II Kings 6:8-23 tells us about a servant who was terrified because of a very real threat that he could see with his eyes. Watch for what Elisha prays for him. Here is the study template if you need it.  anxiety template

 

 

 

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 5 – Shunammite Woman

Today I went walking at Camp Riversite. It is a park a couple miles from our home. I was hoping to see signs of Spring. Instead I saw old growth. Signs that life had been there, and would probably return.

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There was an old burr oak that must have been over 200 years old.

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I tried to imagine it as a seedling…imagining all the different people over the years that might have stopped and looked at it. The children that might have climbed in it’s branches.

This tree would have been 100 years old when the influenza hit in early 1918.  They called it the Spanish flu. That pandemic killed my husband’s grandfather and 675,000 other people in the United States. 50,000,000 were to die world wide. Most of them ages 15-34. (*)  The death rate was 50%. Not good odds.

As I read through Bible passages looking for stories for these posts I am wading through hundreds  and thousands of years. The one constant is the God who created it all and is longing for us to turn to Him. Time and time again He is there when the trouble hits. He is there when people cry out to Him.

Today we are looking at someone who was given a gift they didn’t ask for. (Actually two people received things they didn’t ask for.) We are also looking at the death of someone in the age group mentioned above. You can find the story in II Kings 4:8-37.

Here is the study template if you need it. anxiety template

Let me know what you learn. Until next time.

Karen

 

* (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/reconstruction-1918-virus.html)

 

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 4 – The Widow of Zarephath

 

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Today I am thankful the state parks have been “reopened”. There was some confusion between the powers that be and the park workers. Thankfully it was sorted out and the barricades are down. The pictures above are of “Cave Point” in Wisconsin.

I am thankful that my children all have jobs that are considered “essential”.

I am thankful my husband is retired and safe at home.

I am thankful that Arianna has two neighbor children she can “play” with by keeping a garden hose on the lot line to remind them of social boundaries.

I am thankful that piano lessons can continue for Arianna with the magic of Zoom. It is a miracle I was able to figure out the technology to set it up with her piano teacher.

I am also thankful for a good supply of clean water; for plenty of food in my cupboards.

We will be looking at a widow who was in much more dire straights than we are. There was a famine in the land, and the innocent were suffering.

I Kings 16:29-34 will set the stage for the story that can be found in I Kings 17:1-24.

God does at least 3 miracles here. See if you can find more. Notice how God provides for Elijah. Why are these things unusual?

Here is the study template if you need it. anxiety template

I’m eager to hear what you learn from these passages. Don’t forget to comment below. As always, let me know if I can pray for you in any way. Prayer comes easier these days

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 3 – Rahab

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“Have no anxiety about anything…” (Philippians 4:6) You know the rest of the verse.

We are all struggling with anxiety these days. We want to do something…anything. We hate the feeling of being helpless. But the reality is we have always been helpless. At times like this we realize how small we are.

God knows our fears. He knows how prone we are to worry. He doesn’t scold us, but says again and again. “I will be with you.” “Be not afraid.” He is asking us to trust Him. He is asking us to “be still” (Psalm 46:10)

One of the ways we can be still is to be in His Word. Scripture is living and active and powerful. It gives us peace while the world around us is going mad.

Today we are looking at someone who faced certain destruction. Her name is Rahab. Her story can be found in Joshua 2:1-24; 6:20-25.

Here is the template for studying. anxiety template

When you are done reading and studying I would encourage you to come back and comment on what you have learned. It is valuable for us to share with each other.

My favorite thing about being in a Bible study, (which I have had to put aside for now.) is to hear every person’s perspective on the same passage. While there is only one interpretation, there are many applications. It would be an encouragement to me if you shared what you have learned.

Thank you. Stay safe and well.

Karen