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"Who of You by Worrying Can Add a Single Hour?" - How I Let Go of Fear of My Future

Published: Jul 18, 2018
"Who of You by Worrying Can Add a Single Hour?" - How I Let Go of Fear of My Future

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? – Luke 12:25

I love stories with happy endings; I think most of us do. It’s why we watch movies and read books—we love being reminded that things work out, love is real, that the battles get won. When we receive our own happy ending, we’re often overjoyed and we want the whole world to know. We understand the real and complete truth: worry doesn't solve anything. When our problem is over and done and we’re face-to-face with someone else’s problem, it’s so easy to say, “Oh don’t worry! God’s got this!”

What they say to us is true, yes—worry is pointless and He does hold all things. But when we’re in the middle of the hard story, when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s hard to put into practice this non-worrying way of living. It’s so easy to get lost in the grittiness of the battle we aren’t sure we’re going to win. We see all the blood, sweat, and tears, but when we don’t see progress, it’s disheartening. Myself? I wonder if I’m doing enough, fighting enough, praying enough. I ask “What more can I do?” knowing full well that I don’t truly have the energy to put in any more effort than I already am. Maybe this is true for you, too?

If you’re in the middle of your hard story right now and you’re not sure of the outcome, I’m here with you. I’ve been here for awhile, actually, and though I truly believe that God is good and He works out everything for the good of those who love Him, it’s a fight to stay in that headspace. It’s a fight not to worry, to be anxious, to keep fighting when almost everything inside you wants to be done. One moment, you’re walking on water, yes? And the next? Drowning.

When the “What Ifs” Become Reality

When the “What Ifs” Become Reality

About six months ago, I sat in a hard hospital chair while my husband, Craig, recovered from a kidney biopsy. Medical machines beeped, nurses’ soft-soled shoes squeaked on the tile floor, there was a murmur of hushed voices continually. It had been a long stretch of days filled with unknowns. 

One morning the week prior, I thought about how long we were to continue on this roller coaster of despair. The summer before had been filled with loss of loved ones and the beginning of Craig's health issues. One thing after the other and my continual question seemed to be: When will we catch a break?

Design credit: Rachel Dawson

When You Long for a New Season

When You Long for a New Season

I longed for the season to be over. Desperately.

When we found ourselves confronted with this round of health issues, I started to ask the same question. But mid-sentence, I stopped. In an act of somewhat pissed-off surrender, I said something like, "You know, what God? I'm just going to embrace it. Bring it all and I'm going to walk through it. Be in it. Sit in it. Wrestle with it. Help me learn whatever You want me to learn."

My conclusion was this: I am where I am and that is where Jesus is.

And for you: Whatever you are going through, you are where you are and that is where Jesus is.

Design credit: Rachel Dawson

When His Presence is Enough

When His Presence is Enough

It seems as though wishing things away and trying to rush time is about as productive and effective as worrying about the future. All He wants me to deal with is what is right in front of me at this moment. And at this very moment, we are still in the thick of the hard story. We’re living and breathing the fight to not live in the future, but to take stock and find gratitude for the infinitesimal moment at hand.

And sometimes the only form of gratitude I can muster up is this:

At least Jesus is here.

Design credit: Rachel Dawson

When Jesus is Near

When Jesus is Near

Leading up to our brief stint in the hospital and while we were there, I found myself with two choices: worry or talk to Jesus about my worry. Two entirely different choices. When it’s pure worry and I’m spinning multiple gears relentlessly inside my head, I’m figuring out what kind of strength I'm going to need, for whom I need to be strong, and the plan of attack I'll take. I try to find as much information as possible, using it as a way to protect myself, to keep in control.

And when this is all concerning my life partner, I am even more desperate, more relentless in my pursuit of scenarios and information and strategy.

As part of my embracing the season, I decided to try choice number 2—to involve Jesus in a real way, to attempt to talk and walk out this worry as if I remembered and acted on what I professed: Jesus is here.

Photo credit: Unsplash-my-life-through-a-lens

When We are Worried

When We are Worried

Previously, I didn’t want to involve Jesus in my worry. If I was worried, I reasoned, I wasn’t a good Christian. My faith obviously wasn’t strong enough. I shamed myself for worrying. I put on the brave face. I’d resolve to be tough, to pretend like I was trusting God when I wasn’t really. Closet worrying, if you will.

But anything that evokes shame isn't from God. He longs for us to "in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present {our} requests" to Him.

He invites us to deal with the issues of the day with Him. "Not worrying" doesn't mean "ignore the situation." When we talk with Him about our pressing situations, about the things that are breaking our heart, He helps us manage the amount of despair and overwhelm by showing us what's important for THIS day. When we bring things to Him, it affirms that at least on some level, we do actually trust Him. He gives us peace to hold us in the waiting. He allows us to come as many times as we need (hello, persistent widow) because this forms the habit of seeking Him instead of seeking our own solutions, relying solely on our own power or perseverating on all the possible "what ifs."

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When He Meets Us in Our Worry

When He Meets Us in Our Worry

In essence, denying and dismissing my worry leads to more worrying, conscious or not (because we all know worry can lurk and come out all sorts of sideways).

Bringing my worry to Jesus helps me stop worrying.

The other night after a particularly hard week for Craig’s health, I woke up at 1:30 in the morning in a panic attack: hot then cold, shaking, short of breath, mind racing.

What if? What if? What if?

I could barely get a handle on myself. My worry was off the rails, but refusing to take on the shame or criticize the size of my faith, I instead whispered Jesus over and over again. Because I know if He is there, there is life. Where there is life, there is light. Darkness has to flee.

In the stillness of the night, He met me in my worry. He listened. And when I started repeating myself, those relentless gears spinning, He stopped me. In my mind’s eye, He showed me a picture of narrow railroad tracks. And He spoke, not audibly, but to my heart: “You get to live between the rails. You get to embrace and talk to me about this moment.”

Design credit: Rachel Dawson

When We Trust in Him

When We Trust in Him

Bringing my worry to Him stopped my spinning. That moment was living proof of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:27: “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” It’s futile to spin. It is not futile to bring your cares to Him. A few verses later, Jesus says not to worry about the future because today has enough trouble of its own. There, right there, is permission to embrace the hard circumstances of today. To continually talk to Jesus about what’s happening today. To be real and vulnerable and trusting all at the same time about the current situation.

Because you are where you are and that is where Jesus is. That’s where you get infused with faith and encouragement and love—so much so that it pushes out worry and lets trust in.

We see this very thing happen twenty chapters later in Matthew. Jesus, alone in the garden, talks and pleads with His Daddy, about his very real and currently pressing situation. It says in verse 37, “he began to be sorrowful and troubled.” We find Him on his face. Luke tells us He sweat blood.

Jesus didn’t make another plan. He didn’t try to control the situation. He didn’t put up a false face of strength in front of His friends. Instead, He let his worry compel Him to His Father. As such, He was filled with strength enough to rise and meet His betrayer. He made it to the cross. He died.

And then, He saved the world. Let Him save you from your worry. I’m letting Him save Him from mine.

The time is at hand, friends, is at hand.

Design credit: Rachel Dawson


This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin and history of specific verses within Scripture context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.

"Pray Without Ceasing" 
"Fearfully and Wonderfully Made"
"Faith Without Works is Dead"
"Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart"
"All Things Work Together for Good"
"Be Strong and Courageous" 
"Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go"
"Love Your Neighbor as Yourself"
"Take Every Thought Captive"
"Do Not Fear"
"God is Love"
"Eye for an Eye"
"Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ"
"The Lord is my Shepherd"

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Originally published Wednesday, 18 July 2018.