We don’t often think of participating in our own existence, because a life easily perpetuates itself. Yes, this concept called “being,” started and continues while we remain passive; we learned this in Biology 101. Later we were told, IQ-wise, how deeply or sharply we could think, but not how to get better at it. Thinking aptitude presupposes a done deal, a gift, a genetic bent, so we were taught. Yea, DNA, genetics, and the will of our parents really get the full brunt of responsibility here. Would you agree?
With the risk of being labeled “existential,” we must then consider why a human becomes anxious. A quote goes this way: “anxiety comes from not being able to know the world you are in, not being able to orient yourself in your existence —the reaction to the threat to values one identifies with his existence as a self.” Wow, can this be true possibly?
Obviously, the first thought is that, any impingement on anyone’s living that implies dying will do the job of conjuring extreme anxious discomfort. This is because the ignoble idea of cessation, close-down, cutoff, mop-up, kaput, or finish, crash head long into our value system which stands erect on principles of living and not dying. Secondly, when threatened, folks realize all too quickly their limitations in knowing how to defend themselves.
So, in a nut shell, we know that we didn’t originate our own existence, and we feel that another abstract force will take it away. We are becoming disturbed. With our minds we enter the realm of what we think impossible, uncontrollable, or frankly unfathomable from human perspective. Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety!
When a person receives Jesus Christ as their Savior they are “born again.” A difference between the natural birth and the spiritual birth is that in the latter we were participants. The will of a person involved itself here, though the regeneration proceeded from God. In a way we could say that our brand new creature-hood was triggered from ourselves, but remains nevertheless a sovereign act of an Almighty God.
Well, what then of anxiety? Because our newness of life exists an eternal life, it goes on forever, and cannot be stopped. Thank you Jesus. Notwithstanding, what we believe about our new life on a daily basis, becomes where our rubber meets our road and cruxes our present matter. See, in this present dispensation of grace the just must live by their faith. It’s at this grassroots place of grace and faith, that we gain the “courage to be.”
We find that we now utilize all of our faculties; mind, will, emotions, conscience, and self-conscousness, to simply affirm the truth of our new life. When we fall into doubt, there is a sense of dying, and then a sense of “woe is me.” We must have a determination, we must not quit, we must fight, and this takes sometimes, amazing strength and fortitude. We find this “courage to be” does not originate in the mind. It proceeds from my new life in Him. It emanates a spiritual life, which oversees from above and governs all below in mind and body. Yes, this courage basks in the resurrected life that comes out of death to self.
In closing, we wander why God allows the challenging opposition to our new life? I agree that at times overwhelming evidence would lead us to conclude anything but the truth and all of the opposite. It seems that at the center of the attack is not just our activity, but our very spiritual existence.
Courage, courage, from God spells out the answer. We find this courage to affirm our born-again identity when God shows up in places He isn’t supposed to be. We find Him in the fiery furnace, in the boat during storm, and at the hopeless overrun of David’s camp. Courage came to people in these instances to hope against hope, to believe beyond evidence, to look for Him when all sight has already determined He cannot be found.
Friends your God is walking on the water toward you, He is waiting at home for you to get up and focus in His direction. He can be found even when all of your faculties for finding Him are inoperable. To quote a theologian “The courage to be, is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt.” In hopelessness, weakness, inability, and loss, His presence has a little cake for you to eat. After all, your journey is not finished, but just starting. Love Ya