Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NEV)
Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don’t agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ
I like this quote from C.S. Lewis. Lewis was a deep thinker, and a theology writer of renown. He was also a man who suffered, and he wrote about his struggles in order to help others who also were suffering at various times. Yes, suffering is universal, a great equalizer if you will.
In this quote, Lewis is speaking to people who have anxiety. As I tell my clients, everybody has some level of anxiety. On the “continuum of anxiety” some score much higher than others, but all of us have our struggles with it. However, people who have a higher-level anxiety, more than your usual situational worries, have a very difficult “battle of the mind” every day.
Anxiety is like that self-destructive little voice that always reminds us what can go wrong, why we are especially unworthy, and why destruction is just around the corner. People with anxiety disorder live deep in the weeds of self agony about what can and likely will go wrong. It can be crippling unless help is sought.
C.S. Lewis in this quote tries to give some comfort. He says that people with high anxiety do not have a defect of lack of faith, they have an affliction. That affliction, he says, can be reframed into a shared suffering of a glimpse of what Jesus suffered- the Jesus who understands suffering and understands us. He is on our side.
Thank you, C.S. Lewis for that deep and comforting thought.
Prayer: Help us Lord to see you in the midst of anxiety and suffering, knowing that your grace abounds, Amen