Do you ever worry over something like a dog with an old bone? You chew on it, take it out and look at it a while, turn it over and over to examine it from all angles, talk about it to your friends, maybe make a Facebook post about it, MAYBE pray about it, then go right back to chewing? (Do I sound like the voice of experience? GUILTY.) I recently read on that great source of sound doctrine, Facebook, (My tongue is firmly in my cheek, but I have so many wise Christian friends that I do call it my Facebook Bible study!) that “Worry is saying that God can’t handle our problems.”
Philippians 4:4-8 is a great kitchen-wall Scripture… the challenge comes in living it!
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NASV)
The cure for worrying is right here in Philippians. Rejoice in the Lord. When? Always. You mean when there’s lots more month, and not much money? Yep. When my son is failing a class? Un-huh. When my daughter insists on dating a loser? You bet. When I’m sick? Then too. And the reason we rejoice is there too: The Lord is near. Remember, He said He would be with us ALWAYS, even till the ends of time. (Matthew 28:20)
And look a little further. God invites us to talk to Him about what is worrying us. Don’t worry about it, but talk to me (prayer), and tell Me what you’d like (supplication, requests). Thank Me. (Thank You Father for inviting me to talk to You, for wanting to talk to me, for being concerned about my problems. Thank You for what You will do in the situation and in me.)
What will happen? The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. I love that! My mind needs guarding, because it can go crazy! You’ve done it too, haven’t you, when your child is out late and you hear a siren, or you get called back into the doctor and you have your funeral planned before you get there?
I want to throw in another thing about guarding our hearts and minds. Yes, God is all powerful, but we have brains that I believe we should use. Be careful, dearies, about what you allow in your heart and mind. Pay attention; examine yourself, and figure out what makes you anxious. Then get it out of your life if you can. It is silly to ask God to remove your anxiety while you are ingesting a steady diet that will worry you, just like scooting a book closer and closer to the edge of a table and asking God not to let it fall!
Our modern culture is a worry-maker, and I believe you have to actively fight NOT to allow it to. The very pace of it is exhausting… there’s always something to do, people to talk to, problems to hash and rehash… I’ve chosen to avoid any political show that is not informational– I don’t want to hear people argue, interrupt and talk over each other, with no real interest in having a meeting of the minds. I get the facts in simple lists, and I will vote, but I’m not going to spend a lot of energy listening to “hype.” I used to watch the Law and Order SVU all the time, but I realized that the depravity of the bad guys was just letting too much darkness into my life. One of my favorite book series was Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles, which was much darker than the TV series. With my tendency to depression, I finally decided that it was unwise to expose myself to that kind of literature.
So here’s your challenge, should you choose to accept it: Confess your worry. Tell God that you know He can handle it. Thank Him for His constant love for you and whoever you’re worrying about. Quit talking about it! Find some applicable Scriptures and write them on index cards, rewording them to fit your situation. Avoid anything that makes you feel worse.
So keep that poster on your Facebook wall, and the Scripture verse on your kitchen wall, but be sure and get the passage in your heart!
TeeKay from A Thimbleful of Wisdom, Juliana from simplyjuliana, and I are teaming up to do a series on Philippians every Wednesday in September. We started last week with “Work in Harmony“; and next week will be Whatever… But for today, it’s a favorite “kitchen wall Scripture”…