When I awoke very early this morning with a severe case of anxiety, I had lots of questions for God!
“Sure, I know that You love me and that I am safe in Your care, yet there are things for me to do and You can’t do them for me, can You? I don’t know what’s up to You and what’s up to me. Your “Everlasting Arms” can’t get the work done for me, can they? How can I be carefree when I have all these deadlines to meet? What good does it do for You to care for me when I’m the one who has to deal with all this? What does it mean to cast all my cares upon You Who careth for me (T-5.VII.1:4)? I ask these questions, dear God, because I can’t quite see how this works.”
Not receiving any answers, I went into my office to reread Robert’s latest blog on “At peace with existence, in which he talked about Harold Ellens’ book, Radical Grace, and Ellens’ idea that grace is the solution for human anxiety. One comment of Ellens’ that struck me was, “The perception and experience of God as a God of grace is the central healing dynamic that moves us toward maximal well-being.”
While in my office, I noticed a copy of an earlier blog I had written on, “Taking a stand with Christ.” Rereading it, I was reminded that only a month earlier, I had accepted to “stand with Christ in peace and certainty of purpose” (Lesson 354). So, I asked myself, was I going to stand with Christ or not? Was I going to take a stand for truth or for illusions? Was I going to believe what the Course tells me about God as a God of grace or continue to live in anxiety?
Then I asked Christ for answers to my earlier questions, adding another one: “What does it mean to stand with You in this situation?” Then the strangest thing happened: I realized that I was waiting for answers to questions that didn’t seem important any more. In fact, they were no longer there! I was surprised to realize that I no longer felt anxious and was at peace. I thought to myself that if I was standing with Christ, perhaps I didn’t even need to have the answers to my questions. If I was standing with my true Self–my wholly guiltless Self–what did I have to be anxious about?
I truly think what happened was that I experienced a touch of God’s grace–that was the answer to all my questions! What else could have explained the sudden disappearance of the anxiety? Nothing had changed in the outer circumstances. All the work, all the deadlines, and all the things needing my attention–they were still there. I just didn’t feel any anxiety about them. I still don’t know how it works, but I guess I don’t need to. The fact is it does work!
I was so excited about what had happened, that I decided to do my Sunday evening gathering this evening on the topic of grace. One of the reasons I had been feeling anxious this morning was that I didn’t have a clue about what to do for the gathering and didn’t want to have to spend a lot of time preparing for it. Now I didn’t have to give it another moment of thought!