When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your love, o LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.
~ Psalm 94:18-19
I don’t know about you, but I often go through periods of of anxiety. One recent stretch of it included many factors – a busy season at work, multiple friends in crisis, transitions at home, and a world angry with accusations and heavy with burdens. The combination made me so stressed out that my husband commented on it, wondering aloud why I was so keyed up when there are many good things happening in our lives.
When anxiety is great within me, I often have a hard time seeking out consolation from the Lord. It’s easier to spin and stew, to mull over my anxieties and cling to them. Sometimes the Lord’s love is actually the last thing I want to see. I’d rather stay where I am – harried though I be.
I’m deeply thankful that the Psalmist acknowledges that his foot is slipping – that anxiety can cause him to feel like his foundation is not sure, that his feet do not stand on the rock. Like many others before me have noted, I’m so glad that the Psalm writers give us the freedom to express our fears and anxieties to the Lord.
It just takes sitting down and doing it, which is sometimes the hardest discipline of all.
Yes, sometimes the hardest discipline is to sit down and quiet my soul enough to cry out, “LORD, I’m anxious! My foot is slipping! I’m losing my grip! Help! Where are you??”
It had been three weeks for me in that particular season. Three weeks of restlessness, doubt, and fear. And there have been multiple times in my life where three weeks of this would have been a short season – which is sad, because even three weeks seems like an eternity.
I finally pulled out my neglected journal one Sunday afternoon, after reading one of my favorite stories (Anne’s House of Dreams) and taking a long nap. I spilled my soul onto the pages. Then I opened my Bible, and the words from this Psalm caught my eye, underlined from some other anxious season of life.
Rest flooded my anxiety, washing it away. Perspective returned. Vision was renewed. Hope stole into my heart. His love supported and upheld me, as it had done all along – even when, in the dizziness of anxiety, I thought my foot was slipping.
His consolation brought joy to my soul.