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RESURRECTED ANXIETY

RESURRECTED ANXIETY

The name of this ministry, Water from Rock, is also a statement of faith in an incredible God who knows how to bring water from rock, good out of bad.

The name Water from Rock is taken from the Old Testament book of Exodus, where the people of God are making their journey from bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land. God has led them to a place in the desert wilderness where there is no water. They doubt God’s leading, complain against Him, and question: can God provide them water from dry, desert rock? Can God care for them in wilderness places?

My son, Rhett, has written an honest, compelling book about his own journey in wilderness places: The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good. Because his story speaks so well to what we believe at Water from Rock, I asked Rhett to tell you something about his wilderness journey. Thank you Rhett!

Grace and peace, Tim Smith

RESURRECTED ANXIETY

Rhett Smith

“Do not be anxious about anything”, writes the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6. These six simple words bring great comfort to millions of people, and yet these six simple words also leave many feeling as if something is wrong with their faith. They wonder why, no matter how many times they pray, those six simple words still leave them feeling anxious.

I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life. Because of that, I have often wondered if something was wrong with me. I have even questioned whether God could use someone like me when I could barely calm down my anxiety long enough to function. Anxiety is a hard issue to work through not only because is it so prevalent, but also because it comes to each one of us in its own individualized form.

When I was a 24 year old graduate student at Fuller Theological Seminary Southwest, I was required to write a paper on 1 Corinthians 15 for an exegesis class. While writing the paper I discovered something that changed my life. I came to understand how the Apostle Paul gave new meaning to the Greek word for resurrection (anastasis). Previously anastasis had been used to convey the idea no person or thing could ever be raised from death into life. One ancient writer stated that dead warriers do not rise up (anastasis) to fight again. Paul turns the word on its head. For the first time in history, anastasis meant new life, a resurrection from death.

Through the person of Jesus Christ all of life has the potential of being turned on its head and given new meaning. Anxiety now has the possibility of being used for good. I began to hope that Jesus could give new meaning to something I had struggled with since the age of six when my mom was diagnosed with a fatal breast cancer. In the wonderful book Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me, Ian Cron writes, “These kinds of experiences are not biodegradable. They float in the reservoir of memory forever.” The death of my mom, when I was eleven, is one of those experiences that is not biodegradable. It has been floating around in my memory forever, leaving me anxious for most of my life. But I began to see that through Jesus’ resurrection I could face my anxiety and allow God to transform it, to turn it on its head.

In July of 2010, only days after my second child was born, I received an email from Moody Publishers asking me if I would be interested in writing a book for them. They had been reading my blog and thought that I had something to offer people through my writing. I recently completed the book The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good? (Moody Publishers), coming out March 1. My hope is that any believer who struggles with anxiety will find its message life giving. Anxiety is not an indicator that something is wrong with our faith, or that we don’t measure up as Christians. Rather, anxiety is a gift from God that challenges us to grow and not stay stuck in life. Anxiety is a catalyst that can move us towards God, towards transformation through the person and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you are feeling anxious, may you come to hear God speaking to you through your anxiety.

Rhett Smith is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at Auxano Counseling in Plano, TX. He is also on staff at The Hideaway Experience (www.intensives) in Amarillo, TX where he helps lead 4 day marriage intensives. Rhett is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary (MDIV, MSMFT), and resides in Frisco, TX with his wife Heather and their two children. You can connect with Rhett online at www.rhettsmith.com or www.rhettsmithcounseling.com

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Wow! You can bet I’m purchasing this book! Thank you, Rhett, for sharing your experiences and what you have learned. I look forward to reading more – and to seeing how God can use my anxiety in my life.

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