What to Do With Frustrations and Anxieties
by Colleen Donahue
TCP -- It's a bottle of antiseptic found in almost any home in the British Isles. It's what you grab for first for any scrape, cut, bite, sting or sore throat. When I lived in England that bottle got good use. So what has this got to do with dealing with frustrations and anxieties?
Some years ago when I was facing terrible anxiety in my life, I woke up one morning with this message from the Lord. He said to apply TCP to all my frustrations and problems just like you'd apply TCP to problems of the body. Then (in my spirit, not audibly) he unfolded the meaning in these letters.
Thank God for everything just the way it is! Was I hearing right? The Lord assured me that I was. God is not often the cause of our problems and frustrations. We can usually blame ourselves or other men and women for that honor. But when God allows problems and frustrations He will work them out for our good and His glory. He will use them for good even though Satan hopes it will ruin us. Satan wants us to experience such anxiety that we forget God is in control and live like we are on our own.
So I began to "talk out" with God my situation. I thanked Him for everything just the way it was. I thanked Him for the person causing me such great anxiety. I thanked Him that I couldn't change my situation no matter how hard I worked but that it was OK because I was learning to lean completely on Him. In my mind I talked out all the details that had stacked up like a mountain to bury me. At first my words sounded insincere and hollow but as I prayed I could literally feel the faith returning to my fear filled life. Then the Lord brought me to "C".
"Cast all your anxieties (cares) on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
How many times had I read that, believed that God really did care for me and yet held onto my burdens? Now he was inviting me --pleading with me-- to just hand them over. Not only did He want me to hand them over, He wanted me to keep my hands OFF -- COMPLETELY OFF! I was so good at throwing him a ball but then catching it myself. We all are.
In my mind I pictured myself playing a game of "catch" with Jesus. ("Catch" is where you throw a ball to someone and they throw it back to you) I'd throw Jesus a ball of worry and He would catch it. But balls have a tendency to bounce. So when the worry came bouncing back to me I'd toss it back to Jesus as fast as I could. At first the game was very fast and furious. Satan does not want us giving up our fears, anxieties and troubling thoughts. He works very hard to keep our minds dwelling on our problems.
But as I played this game in my mind there came a growing determination NOT to catch any of the balls (wrong thoughts) that were trying to stay in my mind. I flatly refused. I knew where these thoughts were coming from -- literally the pit! Instead I started to "set my mind on things above" (Colossians 3:2) A new power of faith was rising in me.
Then came the "P" in TCP. We are to PRAISE Jesus for what HE is going to do in our situation. Feeling relieved of my burden (at least in my soul) I was able to praise and thank the Lord for his wisdom and skill to handle my situation. I told Him that I was confident He would be working it all out for my good and his glory. I told Him that I would be watching and waiting to see how He would work everything out.
Now, there is no "formula" in the spiritual world but I realized that the Lord had given me a memory tool to help me in times of trouble, frustration, fear and anxiety. I printed these three letters and what they meant onto homemade bookmarks and put them into my Bible and several other often read books.
Applying TCP to the troubles of my life has become almost second nature. I get faster and faster at applying it because I know it works -- or rather, HE works. It has changed my praying, increased my faith and I testify today that "He has done great things for me." He wants to do them for you as well.
What do we do with troubles, anxieties, difficult people, financial fiascoes and all those general fears and forebodings? Apply TCP and watch the Lord work!