Originally published Friday, 09 March 2018.
Don't worry! We hear it all the time yet it's the first thing we do when faced with any daunting circumstance. In spite of ourselves, we worry more than we should because it's almost second nature.
We worry about our children in myriad ways. Are they OK? Will they be damaged? Are we raising them right?
We worry about our jobs and our careers. Will I ever get promoted? Did I follow the procedure correctly?
We worry about money. How am I going to pay for this? Where am I going to find the money to pay for this part, this piece, this project?
We worry about other people. Do they like me? Will I like them? Did I say something to upset them?
We worry about our relationships. I wonder what he's thinking? Why didn't she return my call?
Do you notice how our worries seem to take the form of questions? Who are we asking these questions of and who will provide the answers? If we were asking ourselves, we still would not have the answers.
We worry incessantly and it drives us crazy but we are told not to worry. Not only are we told not to worry we are told we don't need to worry because worrying doesn't solve a problem but creates more anxiety (Matthew 6:25-34). We are told to discard the worry and instead practice and exercise faith (Matthew 11:28-30). Not worrying is the first step of faith because as soon as you realize the futility of worrying you also simultaneously begin to realize the beauty of trusting. It's at this point you make a choice to either continue to worry or to exercise faith.
I am not immune to worrying, as a matter of fact, the longer I live the more things they are to potentially consume my thoughts. But I have learned and am learning that the more faith I exhibit the greater peace which eliminates the need to worry. When I'm tempted to worry I pray (just like I learned in Sunday School). I pick up my Bible and read any part of it for I remember that faith comes through the Word of God (Romans 10:17). I remember to praise Him with a greater frequency and exhibit a grateful heart (Psalms 119). I tell myself to stop worrying. All of this happens between my ears sometimes in a split second and sometimes over a longer period of time but I make the choice not to worry.
God knew that worrying is part of human nature, but he also knew that He was the antidote to worry. Wouldn't it be great if exercising our faith was second nature instead of worrying? We can then know a calm regardless of our circumstances - "The peace of God, which transcends all understanding” which He has promised will “guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalms 56:3
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength."- Corrie Ten Boom