Wandering leads to anxiety



I was probably 3 or 4 years old at the time. We lived in a suburb of Chicago and my mother had taken me to the Marshall Fields department store. I loved that store. At Christmas time they would have the most elaborate motorized displays in the store windows. And inside there were so very many things to catch my eye. And therein was my downfall. I’m sure it was something shiny that caught my eye and led me to wander away from my mom. (How quickly that happens.) And when you are very small, you only have to wander a short distance to find your self hidden from view and quite alone. I remember looking up and not seeing my mother. Quite upset, I wondered why she had abandoned me and left me all alone in this huge store! Of course, in reality, it was I who strayed away from her, not the other way around. But when we are feeling upset and alone our perspective is easily twisted to see things differently. I’m sure I became quite anxious and started to cry, which brought everyone’s attention to me and reunited my mother and me.


Isn’t that how it is in our relationship with God? In times of despair, we ask, “God where are you? Why have you abandoned me in my time of need?” But of course, it is not God who abandons us, but our own desires which drag us away from Him. Feeling alone and separated from God leads to anxiety. In fact, whenever we feel anxious and find ourselves worrying, it is a good sign to show us how we have wandered from God in our thinking and behaving and into the lonely anxiety of our own ways.

The way to find calm and peace that restores us is through putting ourselves back into His presence. The good news is that we don’t have to call a store detective or put ourselves in the lost and found department to wait for someone to discover us again. We simply need to turn around and find Our loving God right there ready to comfort and guide us.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

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