Rashawn Copeland on Hearing God in the Midst of Anxiety

Rashawn Copeland is the founder of I’m So Blessed Daily and Without Walls Ministries. A writer for Church Leaders, God TV, and the God’s Not Dead blog, he is also the host of the Scripture and Stories podcast on the Converge Podcast Network. He also serves on the Life Church (YouVersion) Bible app team with Pastor Craig Groeschel, assisting with global digital outreach. He is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and is currently earning his MDiv at Liberty University. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Denisse, and their three children.

Everywhere I go—the plaza, the grocery store, Chick-fil-A—I can’t help but notice that people are riddled by anxiety. I watch them and remember the years I spent frantically trying and failing to find peace. I hated that I didn’t have the power to make my life more peaceful.

Ever been there? Have you ever asked, Where is the peace I’ve been promised in the Lord? I know men and women of all ages, races, and backgrounds who have asked that question. The way we wander anxiously about the world, unsure of where we can go to find peace, reminds me of the way I wandered around the woods when training for service in the Army. If you’ve spent any time in the woods, you know it’s easy to get lost out there. When you don’t know where you’re going, panic sets in fast. Especially at night. On more than one occasion, I found myself hopelessly lost, wondering if I’d ever find my way out.

Imagine yourself in the woods at night. No iPhone. No compass. No map. Very little water and no food. It’s starting to get cold. Branches crackle behind you. You turn around just in time to see a pair of shiny eyes disappear into the night. 

How do you feel? Are you calm? Confident? 

How about anxious? 

Of course you’re anxious! Nobody enjoys getting lost. 

Now imagine a voice in the darkness calls your name. What would you do? Run away? Dive behind a tree and hope the voice goes away? 

No way! You would sprint toward the voice that knows your name. Maybe the voice also knows the way out of the woods. 

God calls our name in the midst of our anxiety. He says, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live” (Isa. 55:3 NKJV). I think the “ear” the Bible is talking about here is the heart. God is calling out to us, offering a path to peace, but we can’t hear Him if our hearts are not inclined to hear His voice. 

Start with your anxiety. Come Up to God with everything— including the way you feel, especially when you feel anxious. Acknowledge the chaos around you but allow your heart to rest for a few moments and listen for the voice of Jesus. Can you hear Him? He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). 

The path to peace is not found by stumbling upon it in the dark. It’s found by responding to the voice calling out to us from the dark. Stop trying to find your way through the dark and respond to the voice calling your name. He knows the way out. 

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Source: Relevant Magazine