by Kelli Smith Simpkins
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”- Exodus 14:14
I and many others have repeated these words to ourselves in stressful times. But it’s hard to be still when your mind races, or when your body interprets harmless things as a threat. It can be very isolating when you’re struggling with anxiety, and you’d rather melt into the wall than ask for help. Whether your anxiety is situational or chronic, it can be debilitating.
Trusting in God is absolutely the best place to start as we tackle these feelings. In Christian circles we offer the best advice we can, which is pray about it. However, we often forget what God said to Moses next:
“Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” Exodus 14:15
God was prepared to answer the cries of his people, but he also wanted them to move. Once Moses obeyed God and got a move on, real change was able to take place. Prayer is pivotal, but so is action. We need prayer so we can hear God tell us what to do next. We can see God move mountains (or part seas) when we pair prayer with action.
If you are in a season of feeling like your prayers are not being answered, take a second to reflect on a few things. Are you pouring your heart out to your heavenly father and listening for his guidance, or half-heartedly praying then continuing to worry about how you can “fix it”. Is it possible that God is laying the groundwork for your prayers to be answered, or preparing something better entirely and you’re just too in your head to see it?
If you or someone you know is struggling, please continue to pray, but don’t stop there. Take the next actionable step, like seeking counseling. Doing so can help you start the process of quieting those internal alarm bells so you can slow down and listen to how God is leading you to something better.