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Anxiety. It breaks over us, like rapids shouldering into sediment on a river bed. The constant pressure weathers, grinds, and rubs at the soul. We feel ourselves dissolve into the swirling chaos—that throat-tightening fear that we’ve lost all control, that the white water will win the day.

Some of us remember being thick and strong and dense. We remember the days of stone, when we were almost impervious to the rapids. We offered our back to the rapids and kept soldiering down stream.

But things change. For whatever reason, anxiety has grown stronger. The current keeps coming harder . . . and it doesn’t let up. When . . . when will the waters settle?

In Struck Down but Not Destroyed, I wrote about how we can learn to embrace anxiety as a spiritual tool in the hands of God. Those raging rapids don’t feel good, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serving a divinely governed purpose. Our souls, you see, are clay. They were made to be malleable. So, we should feel like sediment sometimes. We are made and sustained by a God who loves us enough to not leave us to ourselves. But as the rapids rage, many of us are assaulted by constant noise that draws our attention away from the Potter. Amidst the din and distractions of our world, we stop listening to God’s voice, and then we stop searching for it. Before long, we’ve hardened into something that doesn’t resemble the Son of God at all. And that was the whole point to begin with—to be shaped to the image of God’s Son (Rom. 8:29).

If we’re honest, we’d rather be mighty than malleable. We’d rather be stable than Son-shaped. But God doesn’t leave us dried out on the shore. We are the dirt that he breathed into (Gen. 2:7; Job 33:4). And so he will use things like anxiety to turn us back into wet clay.

In this volume of devotions (and those, God willing, that will follow), I hope to do nothing more than pour a little water on you . . . one trickle of words at a time. God will do the shaping, as he always does. He’s the soul-artist. But he uses people in the body of Christ to do his bidding. It may be that you need a cup of water not because you’re thirsty and tired but because you’re settled and stiff (Matt. 10:42). I pray that the water works.

As someone who’s struggled with an anxiety disorder for well over a decade, I know where you are, or at least where you can be. I know that your mind often feels crazed, loud, and weak all at the same time. I am living proof that, in Christ, and by the power of God’s own Spirit, you can feel still, silent, and strong again. These feelings, however, are not the end-goal; Christ-conformity is. So while I hope your mind will feel still, silent, and strong, I hope even more that you will more clearly develop the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Here’s to water and words.

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What People Are Saying

“Another gem from Pierce Hibbs. He is emerging as one of the surest guides in the struggle for peace and assurance in the midst of real-life threats. The sub-title says it well: Meditations for the Anxious Heart. In addition to solid theological and biblical foundations, Hibbs articulates issues of the heart with language of the heart. This includes prayers, poetry, meditations and discussion questions. Yet none of it is airy-fairy. In contrast to the babble of self-help books and even well-intentioned devotional studies, this is a jewel of realistic, pastoral and honest council.” – William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Pierce has given us a fine gift, filled with wisdom and actual prayers we can speak. He seems to know us as he leads us to the peace that Jesus promises. And he does it with language that is pleasant and clear.” – Edward T. Welch, author of Running Scared, When I Am Afraid, and A Small Book for the Anxious Heart

“Anxiety is always at odds with peace. We desire comfort and the control that comes with it, but when our souls are weary and we worry about the day’s troubles, the wave of anxiety looms overhead. In his newest work, Pierce Taylor
Hibbs once again delivers excellence in this volume; meditations stemming from words of God and bolstered by words of prayer. We all long for lasting peace, and in Still, Silent, and Strong, Hibbs shows readers through comforting devotion and personal reflection how to biblically use anxiety as a way to cling to Christ.” – Nathaniel Schill, Administrator, Book Store Director, and Elder at Calvary Chapel Quakertown

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