I am a self proclaimed worry wart. I often find myself up in the middle of the night with dozens of thoughts swirling through my mind.
Most of the time the worries are in vain. If Mike is late from work, I automatically panic that he’s been in a car accident. I check on my babies three or four times at night to make sure they are breathing. If a family member calls me at a weird time, I assume the worst. I constantly worry that my front doorbell is going to ring in the middle of the night and a police officer will be at my door with the news that someone I love is dead.
I worry about getting cancer or some other horrible illness. I worry about dying while my children are young. I worry about Mike getting cancer or some horrible illness. I worry about him dying. I worry about my children getting cancer or some other horrible disease. I worry about them dying. You get the picture.
When life is good, I worry and wait for the other shoe to drop. When life is challenging, I worry about life getting worse.
This worry is really a form of sin.
When we worry, we distance ourselves from God. We are essentially telling God that we don’t believe in Him and that He is not in control. While we don’t always understand why we are in one situation or another, we must always believe that God has a greater plan for us. Our current situation and our future situations are all part of God’s “bigger picture” for us. These experiences help shape us into who He wants us to be. Though we can make decisions and we do have free will, we must never forget that He is in control.
The ironic thing is that most of the things we worry about don’t even happen. Even if they do happen, we must trust that when the time comes to meet a challenging situation head on that God will provide for us then.
This weekend at the ARISE conference, Kimberly Hahn said something that resonated deeply with me. “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of sorrow, but it does empty today of strength.“ Instead of worrying about things that are out of our control or things that haven’t happened yet, we should focus on things we can change and things that are happening today. We should center our hearts in prayer and rely on God to carry us through.
As one would expect, Lizzie had some discouraging days that followed. She started losing movement in her hands. She had to rely on a wheel chair. She was in constant pain.
But her spirit soared. In a very dark hour, she was a light for those around her.
Even though she was dying, she still started her freshman year of high school. As if this young lady wasn’t remarkable enough, she started school in a wheel chair with very little use of her body.
This sweet, wonderful, beautiful girl died that October, but until the day she died she had a faith in God beyond measure. In fact, this was her favorite bible passage:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:34
If a young, vibrant child who is dying can live life with this as her motto, surely the rest of us can do the same!
Are you as guilty of worrying as I am? I know it is hard (believe me, I know), but we must have faith in God. We must know that He is truly the One in control. When we worry, we waste opportunities to live. We waste opportunities to grow. We turn away from the only One who can really help us.
The best thing we can do when worry overcomes us is pray.
“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: 6-7
See what that says? It says don’t worry about anything. It also says to pray. But first, offer up prayers of thanksgiving. Then, ask God for what you need. Remember, God doesn’t always give us what we want, but He always gives us what we need. We just have to ask.
Let’s work on this together, shall we?
Life happens when we stop worrying.
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