Do the Faithful Thing–Worry Not!
What are you worried about today? What is making you anxious? If you’re like me, you can always seem to find SOMETHING to worry about. Is it your job? A family member or friend? Your health?
I woke up in the night last week. I have a dear friend whose daughter was just diagnosed with a serious illness, and even though I trust that God is holding her in the palm of his hand, I could not help but worry about her and her whole family. Why is it that anxieties seem always to be magnified at night, when all is dark and still? Maybe it’s because we come closer to God when our bodies are still with sleep and our minds are not on all of our daily activities.
While some worry can be constructive, prompting us to take needed action to remedy a situation, excessive worry can be paralyzing. It can even become such a burden that it can make us physically ill.
It is wrong to let worries and anxiety consume us, because it means that we are not trusting in God’s plan for us. God knows each one of us, loves us, and has our lives worked out for us. No matter how much we long to control everything, we must realize that we are limited in doing so.
I remember one of my friends recounting an experience she had when her car broke down on the way to an important meeting. This was before the age of mobile phones, so she was unable to contact the person she was supposed to be meeting. She said that she was, at first, panicked about not arriving on time. A policeman stopped to check on her, and he summoned help. As my friend was waiting, she started praying, telling God just how upset she was. After a few moments, she said she really started to feel better. And then the realization came to her that she was exactly where God intended for her to be—in her broken-down car on the side of the road instead of being at her meeting. Things would work out one way or another and everything would be all right. Indeed, everything DID work out just fine.
Most worrying accomplishes very little, it is not good for you, and it is THE OPPOSITE OF TRUSTING GOD!
Matthew 6: 27-29 says “And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.”
So what are you to do when you wake in the night, frantic with worry? Or when you sit at your kitchen table in the morning, afraid to start your day? One technique is to Postpone Worrying. Keep a worry journal. When you start to worry about something, note your thoughts in the journal or just on a piece of paper. Then forget about it, knowing that you plan to worry later. By doing this, you can re-train your brain to not dwell on worries in the present. This will take some effort in the beginning, but the more you do this, the more it will become a reliable habit.
Another VERY effective and also FAITHFUL technique is to re-focus your energy from worrying to relying on God. In other words, instead of actively worrying, try actively praying. Ask God for help, and by talking to God, you will replace worry with TRUST!
Philippians 4: 6-7 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
May the Peace of God be with you all!
Blessings to you,