I worry a lot. I second guess, over-analyze, and ruminate about things I can’t change or issues that don’t matter. I trust God, but this unproductive behavior outwardly says that I do not. It’s not a picture of someone who believes that God truly has the best of intentions and a flawless plan. Putting the worry high up on the shelf and an attitude of complete trust front and center is a difficult thing to do, which I’m sure many of you have discovered on your own. As I have thought about this over the last few days, I began to wonder if it’s possible to prevent worry from surfacing in the first place.
Although we don’t all worry to the same degree, it seems that it’s a natural human tendency that everyone must unlearn. Worry is a feeling…something that we feel deep within ourselves that conjures up anxiety and uneasiness about what’s ahead. Unlearning a feeling can seem like an impossible task, but most of the time, if not always, feelings stem from thoughts. Our creative imaginations can stir up thoughts that are completely untrue, which cause us to waste time catastrophizing and creating events in our heads that will never happen. Instead of expending large amounts of energy worrying about what obstacles we may encounter, what if we used that energy to listen more closely for what God is trying to tell us? He is our guide, after all. He goes before us, and although what is next might be a surprise to us, it’s never a surprise to Him.
Several weeks ago, I went for my run later than usual, and I saw fireflies for the first time all summer. They reminded me of God’s perfectness…that the stomach of this tiny bug lights up as a result of a chemical reaction suggests that God is pretty smart. This means that with Him in charge, there is no reason to constantly worry. During my run, my I-phone died, so the music stopped, and a light rain began to fall from the sky. I became frustrated with the quietness that suddenly filled my ears, but soon settled into the change. The sound of my own breath, my feet pounding against the wet pavement, and the rustling trees replaced the sound of my usual beats. Despite the fact that my running music consisted of some upbeat worship music, I was more aware of God’s presence in that moment than I was during the previous 5 minutes. And I think that’s it, friends…we need to be more aware. We need to quiet our minds long enough to hear God’s promises, which can help soothe any worry and prevent it from sneaking into our minds at all. With our feet planted solidly on Mother Earth below and an increased awareness of our Father above, I think we can become worriless.
There are many commonly referenced Bible verses about worry, but I stumbled upon this one that I wasn’t as familiar with: “So we confidently say, ‘the Lord is my helper, I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6) I like that it’s short, so can be recited easily when we’re feeling worried. It’s a great reminder that the things and people of the world are no match for the power of Jesus. This week, I’m going to pray for all of us that worry…I pray that we can focus more on The Word and less on the world.
Dear God, despite our occasional mistrust, please keep on writing our story!
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