When You Can't See the Mountains for the Freeway--A Cure for Worry

I had worked myself into a tizzy.

You know how it goes—a concern arises—health, wealth, or relationship trouble, usually. The thought pops into my head and instead of taking it captive, I allow it to run free. One anxious thought leads to the next, and fear spreads its worry poison like jellyfish venom after a sting. My heart begins to race, my breathing quickens, and before long I am paralyzed—unable to reason, act, or pray.

My heavenly Father, armed with the antidote, waits in the wings, but I refuse to sign the consent form. “I’ll handle this myself,” I mutter feebly, waving him away.

And behind the spiritual veil, Worry smirks silently and scratches another notch in his belt. My old nemesis has gotten me again.

My daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter live in Roanoke, Virginia, and we visit often. It’s a beautiful city. User-friendly, easy to navigate, and moderate in climate and cost of living. The city is surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and I never grow tired of seeing their cobalt peaks on the horizon. Everywhere we go, they are there—stately, silent, and strong—distant sentinels hedging us in. 

On a recent visit, my husband and I were trying to cram many activities into a short amount of time. Playing with our granddaughter, visiting with friends, going to church. Helping with chores, grocery shopping, and wedding planning with my eldest. The list was long, and we stayed busy.

It wasn’t until our final day that I realized something—I had forgotten about the mountains. 

Consumed with my To Do list, I’d plowed my way through one task after another without ever lifting my eyes to the horizon. I’d missed sunrises, sunsets, and beautiful cloud formations. I’d missed shades of brown, blue, and grey. I’d missed the beauty that gladdens my heart and brings color to my sometimes monochromatic days.

My eyes were so focused on the freeway that I had missed the mountains. When I finally lifted my eyes, there they were, where they’d been all along, the strong and silent guardians of our weekend.

When I allow fear to plunder my heart and mind, it’s much like my mountain-less visit to Roanoke. I become so focused on the problems in front of me that I forget there is help on the horizon. Help that surrounds, protects, and shelters me.

 “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?” the Psalmist writes. “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber” (Psa. 121:1-3).

With what worry are you struggling today? I encourage you to lift your eyes to the hills, and to the Lord of the hills. His help is waiting there.

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