I’ve tried to stop worrying. I pray. I distract myself. I cry. I make a plan. I get angry and scream into my pillow. I make lists. And sometimes I just do my best to ignore it. However, I still feel like an elephant is sitting on my shoulders.
A couple of days ago my husband and I were talking about 1 Peter 5:6-7. It says:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”
He made the observation that before we cast our cares on God (aka. not worry) we have to humble ourselves. He suggested that maybe pride is at the root of worry. In order to worry, I have to have pride enough to think that I can control the situation. If I worry about getting supper finished on time, it’s only because I have a reasonable assumption that I can control when and how supper is made. It’s my problem because I’m in charge. However, I often worry over things which I have no control, or I worry about things that I would do better to trust God with.
I worry about my time when I know that God is the one who numbers my days. I worry about finances when I know that God is the one who provides all we need. I worry about having children when I know that God has a plan for our family. I worry about how I compare to others when I should trust that God is shaping me to be the person he created. No matter how much I worry or fret, I won’t add one blessing to what God has given me. Good and perfect gifts are his department, not mine (James 1:17)
I also need to keep my mind on Jesus. This is hard. It’s not that I don’t love Jesus. It’s not that I don’t genuinely desire to think about him. It’s just a matter of discipline. When I worry, I let my mind wander on to things that cause me stress. When I try to pray, I pray about the things that worry me. I more am ready to make lists and take action, rather than spend time in the Word of God, thinking of spiritual things. Rarely do I manage to really sit and focus on God, on who he is and what he’s done. But Isaiah tells us that peace and strength come from a mind focused on God. This is not a mind that stops by for an afternoon cup of coffee. This is a mind that comes for a visit with two suitcases and takes up residence in the guest room. This is mind that comes for a visit and never leaves.
So what’s the key to being worry free? Letting go of my pride and humbling myself before God. Keeping my mind and heart focused on him and trusting that he knows what is best for me.
This means trusting in the Lord for everlasting strength. Strength to get through any perceived failure or mistake. Strength to get through another late night feeding. Strength to get through a holiday season on a very tight budget. Strength to get through that massive pile of dishes lining the kitchen cabinets. Strength to get through…well anything, because God’s strength is everlasting. With a strength like that, I have no reason to worry.