If worry were a badge about to be pinned to my jacket, I’d be its knee-knocking inductee; if a published picture of worry existed in the dictionary, you’d find my face next to it.
There are countless of things to fret over: Mounting bills. Unexpected Job layoffs. Escalating violence. Senseless terrorism. Exercising solid faith amidst hard times is a challenge, but when we choose to walk in anxiety, we become worry’s derailed recipients.
At least fifty, well-known scriptures exist on worry and anxiety alone.
Perhaps Jesus knew that His children would struggle with this matter. It’s precisely why he counseled us on the matter, “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6: 27).
I admit, I’m not always that ‘powerful woman of faith’ that I so easily proclaim throughout my spheres of influence. If anything, I’m quite the opposite.
My three exasperated daughters grapple with my fear-induced nonsense:
- You will NOT apply to a college outside of the Northeast Region; why can’t you commute to a local school and live home?
- If and when you are home alone, you may not eat! What if you choke? Do you know how perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself!
- Dear College-age daughter, don’t call me on your cell phone when you’re walking in the streets of Providence, you can get mugged.
HOW WORRY ENTERED MY HEART
Worry and fear made its way into my own heart-cavern in 1983. I had witnessed the death of my five-year-old younger brother, who passed away after being struck by a car. My mind was plagued with one question alone: Who would die next?
More jarring was listening to my mother whisper into the phone in the summer of 1998. “Angelica is missing, please pray.” Immediately I began to proclaim Psalm 91 over my cousin, amidst the cold knot that tugged at my soul. Late in the midnight hour, I was told that her body was found in the nearby woods, victim of deranged pedophile.
Why hadn’t God listened to my prayer? This was a Divine Providence that I struggled to accept. I sometimes struggle with the fear that something awful will happen to one of my own
Sometimes worry lurks at my doorstep, trying to make its way into my peace-filled home. Sometimes it whispers ridiculous thoughts in the midst of praise and worship.
Sometimes fear settles between my ribs, and the echo of my nine-year-old distressed heart awakens.
People of faith need to realize that sometimes worry or fear comes from our unseen enemy. The devil has witnessed our lives; he knows our weaknesses.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths.” When our hearts wrestle with worry, we need to trust the path that God’s placed before us.
Remember that God struggled with his own anxious thoughts. His Garden of Gethsemane moments were all worry, they were all fear. Christ brushed off sweat, stained with the traces of blood, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44). Christ had experienced a medical condition known as hematidrosis, which came from extreme distress. God is familiar with our worry; he graciously atoned for those moments of worry and anxiety.
RECAST YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN WORRY BECKONS
- We Can Worship—the most powerful weapon we have is unadulterated worship of the Father. When we fall at His feet in praise, our trivial concerns are swallowed up by faith, joy, and trust.
- We Can Recast—when you wrestle with incessant fretting, recast that negative thought pattern. By renewing our minds, we can overcome unhealthy emotions. The scriptures remind us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6).
- We Can Walk in The Moment—realizing that being thankful for the simple moments with our loves ones matters most. 1 Peter 1:24 tells us that all people are like grass, and that eventually grass withers. So shouldn’t we laugh and love more? Isn’t it more important to trust in what God has in store for us?
Today, let’s banish worrisome thoughts; let’s trust that God will penetrate our distressed, heart-caverns, filling it with His peace and faith.
Let’s Recast Worry Today…