“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?”
It was a big day. An important decision was being made that day, one which had many months of painful buildup and could potentially be life-changing for us and people we cared about. Ultimately, I had no control over the outcome of this decision. For the week leading up to it, I had spent time praying over the outcome, praying as often as it came to mind. But that morning, I had a moment of panic. I thought to myself, “Oh no, I haven’t spent enough time thinking about this!”
Now, let’s translate that deep and spiritual thought – what I really meant was, “Oh no, I didn’t worry enough!”
It sounds ludicrous, even to me, the crazy person who thought it. Thankfully, I realized how crazy it was a second after I thought it, and immediately turned to prayer again. But that moment highlighted for me just how easy it is for me to think that I can change things simply by worrying.
I used to scoff a bit when reading the passage in Luke 12 where Jesus talks about worry – who would actually think they can make their life longer simply by worrying about it?
On that morning, I realized I am that person. That crazy thought that I entertained for a mere second opened my eyes. I may say with my lips that I know worrying is pointless but I still do it. I still think that I, in my humanness, can change the outcome of a decision simply by worrying about it.
Instead of wasting my time worrying, I need to actually do what I know I need to do – keep handing it over to God. Every time that worrisome thought comes to mind, I pray about it. However, I don’t just ask God to fix it. I fix my eyes on Him, the Founder and Perfecter of my faith (Heb 12:2). I remember Who He is, and then I hand the worry over to Him. I ask Him to do His will and ask for His strength to sustain me throughout the worry. Then – I leave it with Him. I don’t keep taking the worry back so I can stew over it. I leave it there. In His hands. And every time it pops back into my mind, I do the whole process over again: Remember Him. Hand it over to Him. Ask for His help. Leave it there. Again. I do this as often as I need to until the worry is no longer a worry.
When I do this, I truly follow Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
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