My eldest child has been dealing with some major anxiety issues over the past few weeks. If you have never had any experience with panic attacks, they can be difficult to understand. The best explanation I've heard puts it like this. It's like your brain tells you that there's a tiger in the room with you. Your eyes can see that there's no tiger but your brain continues to process adrenaline like the tiger is actually there. For a multitude of reasons Jessi's anxiety has loomed large and vicious these past few weeks. Some days she has been unable to leave the house and has struggled to even leave her room. We have diligently battled the beast and she is making progress toward a normal life again though. One thing that has gone a long way in soothing her spirit has been the Word.
I have become a huge believer in the power of memorized scripture. Until this year, I'd convinced myself that my brain was too old to remember much of anything, let alone something as complicated as the Word of God. Fortunately, Beth invited us to join her in a journey of memorizing the Word. And what a beautiful journey it has been. Words cannot express the comfort I have received from carrying the Word engraved on my heart and mind. Whenever my spirit grows troubled or restless, I can flip through my mental notebook and whisper His Words to my heart. When Jessi calls me in a panicked state, I can give her scriptures that bring healing and comfort. And best of all, she too has learned that His Words bring a healing balm to an anxious heart. (She carries a small notebook filled with scriptures with her everywhere she goes.)
Life is complicated. We may encounter things everyday that are unexpected, overwhelming, difficult, traumatic, hurtful or frightening. With God's Word, we can be prepared to face these moments. I cannot encourage you enough to hide His Words in your heart. (Trust me, if my "overstuffed with fluff" brain can memorize, you can too.)
Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Ephesians 6:13-18 MSG