Student opinion – The missing puzzle peace at CPAC

When I got off the train at Washington, D.C. for CPAC, I was ready to throw up.

The Uber was on its way, and if I went to the bathroom for too long, I’d be inconveniencing everyone. “We may even have to call another Uber because of my stupid stomach,” I thought. I kept getting more and more nauseous — more and more anxious. My stomach got hotter, my head spun quicker and my mind began to derail.

“I’ve got to use the bathroom,” I told my Champion friends coolly, and I sauntered away toward the restroom. They didn’t suspect that my stomach was urging the purge.

Dizzy, I thought, “Why am I so anxious right now? Sure, I don’t know all of these friends that well, but I love these people, so what is it that’s nauseating me? What do I think is going to happen that’s worth worrying about?”

I honestly could not give myself any good answer. There was something missing — some piece to this anxiety puzzle that I couldn’t find.

As I sit here now on my hotel bed just outside of D.C., I have been considering all that the Lord has blessed me with over the past couple days since that bathroom fiasco: we met total strangers; I became vulnerable with my Champion friends; I got a job opportunity; I danced around like an idiot; we rode a Ferris wheel; I asked random strangers what our group could be praying for; I even had the honor of praying over our group several times.

During this trip, we at the Champion got to share our lights for Christ to so many — even to our Uber drivers.

Could we have done this well if we had all been anxious the whole time?

There are so many verses about peace: John 14:27; 16:33, 1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 11:28-30; 6:25-34, Luke 10:41-42 and Philippians 4:6-7 come to mind. One of my favorites is Isaiah 26:3: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” A God who stills your anxious heart when you focus on him — now that’s an incredible God. Keeping the Lord at the forefront of your mind is what peace is.

“Alright,” you may say, “so you suggest that I throw a bunch of Bible verses at such a debilitating problem and hope I can just pray away this anxiety?”

Yes, yes I do.

Why? Because the thoughts that doubt our God’s abilities should not be entertained. The doubts we face about the truth of God’s word are of the flesh. Our flesh doesn’t think God cares enough about us. It doesn’t believe this crippling anxiety is important enough to him.

And when we do experience his peace throughout the day, our flesh belittles that peace and tries to find something else to be anxious about. Heck, even during this trip, after we had discussed our anxieties and prayed for peace — after all that peace that we were given by the Spirit — we watched a horror movie the very next day. If that’s not the devil and the flesh

wanting to get us back into a mindset of anxiety, I really don’t know what is. We must keep consistently pursuing Christ to beat our worry. We must keep casting it on the one who can take it, the one who cares (1 Peter 5:7).

Let me make this clear: It is one of the hardest things to ask for help from the Lord when all your flesh wants to do is shut the door and draw the dark curtains, screaming “I’m not home! Go away!” But you can’t shut Christ out of your heart when you’ve already invited him in (Revelation 3:20). So since he’s already there, why not start setting the table and dining with him?

I am not trying to make light of the extreme amount of faith this takes. Believe me when I say that I am not even close to perfecting this faith-focus. But you know what’s the best part? “If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Back to the train station bathroom scene: “Ok, Jesus,” I told him as I walked into the bathroom. “I have no control of anything here. I feel suffocated by these thoughts that make no sense. I am scared, I feel alone, I feel stupid and I need your help desperately.”

Then I saw these words in my mind, the Spirit’s great gift that he reminded me of: “I am with you. I always have been and always will be.”

I read John 16:33 over and over, and prayed again and again in a sketchy D.C. bathroom stall for a couple minutes…

We got into the Uber on time, and I hadn’t thrown up. Nor have I once during this trip. I had one of the best trips of my life.

Please stay in his word and pray. Focus fervently on Christ. He completes our puzzle to peace — he aggressively halts anxiety.

Gilmer is the A-section copy editor for the Liberty Champion

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