The Antidote to Worry

Dear Friends,
The Antidote
to Worry


As a child, I was a natural born worrier. I would worry over anything and everything. I remember my Mum telling me that if I kept worrying I would end up with a stomach ulcer which would be very painful. I'm sure she said this in the hopes I would stop worrying. But now I had something else to worry about! What if I developed a stomach ulcer? I even used to worry about the fact I was worrying!

Because God has made us as a whole - body, mind and spirit - when one part is suffering, all the other parts are also affected. Obviously, worry messes with my mind. It also affects me physically as I end up with an upset stomach, headaches and disturbed sleep. As well as this, my spirit is affected as my worry causes me to lose my peace and I then focus on myself and my problems rather than my God who is bigger than all my worries put together.

As I've grown up I've learned to trust God more and more with my life, and this has helped me to worry less.

In Matthew 6:25-34 (AMP) Jesus commands us not to worry:
Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap[the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?... 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ ... for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I like how the Message paraphrases verse 34:
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
However, there are still times when I return to my old ways of worrying. Recently it was in regards to my children. If you're a parent you can probably relate to this. As their Mum I always want the best for them, I want to have everything under control and I want to fix things when they go wrong. It was so much easier when they were younger. When they fell over and scraped their knees all I needed to do was kiss it better. Now they're bigger they come with different and bigger problems.

My worry for them was stealing my joy and my peace. My mind was totally preoccupied with worry. I could think of nothing else. And it was all the harder because there was nothing I could do to fix things for them.

As I was going through this I was also needing to spend time preparing for my upcoming preaching slot. The theme for the month was 'Worship' and I had chosen to preach on 'Worshipping in Our Parenting'. I can tell you, I felt inadequate to do this. And the Devil was having a field day with me. I found myself in the middle of a spiritual battle. He was using the opportunity to have a go at me, condemn me and bring me down. Telling me I was no good as a parent and who did I think I was to preach in front of a congregation about parenting.

Then, during this time, while my mind was a mess and the Devil was shouting in my ear, God graciously bent down and in his still, small voice said "Stop worrying and instead, start praying".

This was not new to me, but somehow, in the midst of it all, I had completely forgotten the power of prayer.

So, every time I began to worry about my child (which was more than a few times!) I turned to God in prayer. I handed my child over to him. I acknowledged that he is greater than I am and that he has the answers I'm looking for. God sees and knows it all. He can work out his will for my child. He knows what is best. He can work in impossible situations and do the impossible. I cannot. In praying I relinquish my tenuous control and submit to his authority. The One who is truly in control of all things. 

I have learned that the antidote to worry really is prayer. When I pray I'm no longer focusing on me and my problems. When I pray I am focusing on God and when I focus on God there is no room for worry and there's no room for the Devil either.

Prayer restores peace to my mind. It restores my joy. It brings me hope. It places the burden of care onto God rather than the weight of the burden breaking me. Prayer opens the door for God to step in and move in power.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7 (NLT)

Prayer changes things. It changed my attitude. It changed my focus. It changed my perspective. My circumstances haven't yet changed but that doesn't mean God isn't working and moving behind the scenes. All he asks of me is that I keep praying and not give up.

To Think About:

What causes you to worry? How does that worry affect your whole being and even those around you?

Prayer is the antidote to worry. Have you found that to be true in your own life?


What difference does it make when you turn your worries over to God?


Vicki

If  what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon. (Its content is material adapted from previous blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below: 

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