Tag Archive for worry

Facing Worry and Breaking the Cycle

The last three weeks feel like the rug of life has been pulled out from under us. We’ve had our share of trials to say the least. We are still waiting for things to right themselves.

We’ve experienced run of the mill trials, we’ve hurt with friends who’ve had life altering trials, we’ve experienced our own heart aches, and we’ve seen God orchestrating our lives in an unexpected manner.

God has brought a situations into our lives out of the blue and we are anticipating the outcome. All we can do is wait and try not to freak out. The Lord seems to be placing an opportunity into our laps that we’d never considered or sought. The situation is so overwhelming that I had no appetite for a week. (I lost 3 lbs.)

Then I realize that my old friend fear has surfaced.

 

Worry has a way of making me feel at home and productive in a deceptive way  and choosing faith is one of those basics of the Christian life that I find I am having to go back and address all over again.

I was recently asked to write an article for Trillia Newbell’s new book launch Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (available April 1st!).  I recounted the many fears I had as a new mother. I felt like a crazy lady submitting it because writing down irrational fears and submitting it for the world to read is terrifying and humbling, and in hindsight, I think fear was the controlling motivator in my life FOR YEARS.

But writing the article had two other benefits. I saw the grace of God, from where I used to be to what He’s done in my life to date. But it was also a rebuke to myself for today, because I realized that old habits die hard and though I’ve made progress over the 22 years I’ve been a mom in the “worry department”, fighting for faith is a life long pursuit. Isn’t God so patient and kind with us?

One thing that has helped me over the years is reading the Psalms. I’ve always noticed “patterns” and reading David helped me see his thought patterns and helped me get a grip on my own worry.

When you read the Psalms you notice that David::

  • gets his eyes off the Lord and onto problems>>
  • which leads him to fear, despair, hide, complain, compare>>
  • and then he remembers God and his faithfulness and covenants (read:: meditates on the right things)> >
  • and then David rejoices and hopes.

I’m preaching to my own heart a lot lately in the midst of all this uncertainty about where I’ve set my gaze. And the Lord was so good to me to send me Trillia’s book free of charge to encourage me to keep trusting Him.

Worry needs to be faced head on, friends. It’s not something to toy with or ignore. It can’t grow unchallenged deep in the recessed of your mind because it’s an assault on the goodness of God. At its core, it’s unbelief. Unbelief!

It’s doubt. It’s a control issue. It’s all bad things–really bad things–and it’s an assault on our faith from within ourselves that needs to be challenged.

Sometimes to live a life of faith, you have to do battle with your own mind. You realign your rogue thoughts. You take captive the God-offending, God-accusing junk of your own mind and call it what it is: unbelief. I’m not believing God’s word today. Sometimes admitting the problem is the first step to fixing it.

If I continue to focus on my problems, they GROW to larger than life. If I mediated on the FUTURE and don’t see God in the picture anywhere, fear freezes and paralyzes me. I’m living like God doesn’t exist when my thinking goes off like that.

It’s only as I set my hope in God and understand that

  • he leads
  • he protects
  • he knows
  • he sees
  • he ordains
  • he loves
  • he cares
  • he is there in my future

that I find confidence to drop the worry and run to Jesus for rest.

When I forget God, I’m pretty much relying on my own reserves which are piddly at best.

Today, my encouragement is for you to look away from your problems to your God who is bigger than any of them. Then “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you.” And no backsies. If you find yourself worrying, give it back to the Lord again. He’s faithful and by faith, you can trust Him!

 

Monday Morning Worries

It’s Monday morning. I’ve already hit the ground running.

Before 7 am, I’ve washed my sheets, cleaned the bathroom, had my devotions and coffee. Last week was crazy busy and I’m not expecting this week to be any different, so I plan and economize and…in truth, I worry.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

I don’t know if I’ll have all the strength, energy, wisdom, resources, or will-power to complete this week according to my ideals.

When it’s all about me and my resources, it’s deflating, friends.

It’s easy for me to get bogged down before I even start the day. I’ve scribble down our to-do list, a grocery list, a remember list. I have to remember to get this child to skating and this child to work. I like checking things off my lists, declaring them “done.”

And our check lists don’t end on paper. Oh no, we also have these mental check lists as well, a sort of running commentary of all the things that could ever go wrong and threaten to overwhelm us. Am I right? There’s no check box for that list. It’s always there, never done.

We think about all that is before us in the future, all the health and emotional needs around us, the unknowns, the looming bills that need to be paid, that problem in our own life that is still unresolved, that problem in our friend’s life that we feel helpless to counsel never mind fix, that problem in our church, that deficiency in our own life, and how all of these things will affect our kids.

In short, we worry and borrow trouble and it weighs us down.

Jesus knew this tendency in humans and tells us to stop living as though we have no Heavenly Father.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 

yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

Matthew 6:25-32

Of course, this is just one passage that reminds (actually commands us) not to worry. To worry is to question God’s goodness to His own children.

Earlier in Matthew 6 we see there are other things people worry about:

  • some religious people worried about getting the praise of men, so they used religion as a tool to get what they wanted. They played a role for applause, and God saw it and saw through it and declared them hypocrites. To desire the praise of men is to be a glory-thief. Nobody is worthy of praise but our God.
  • We worry about saving money and amassing wealth and luxury, but God tells us that all earthly treasures will eventually rot. The only treasure that last is what we lay up in heaven by serving the Lord here.

I tend to worry when I forget that God takes care of me and is in control. Matthew 6 tells me that God has not forgotten me and He knows everything I need.

This is a comfort! I don’t need to carry these burdens. “Cast your burdens upon the Lord.” Worrying does nothing but weigh me down and keep me focused on the wrong things.

My focus should be–>”Your Heavenly Father.” (Matt. 6:32)

He knows what I need. He knows what my family needs. He knows what my friends need. He sees that problem and can handle it.

He’s faithful.

When I worry, I’ve forgotten my Heavenly Father.Problems are big and He is small in my mind. I’ve dwarfed Him and minimized Him and I doubt He’s amused.

I’m living like an orphan when I have the best Father possible.

He gently reminds me, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” (vs. 33) Stop living for the lesser things (like praise or money). It’s never-satisfying.

Worry is living for the here and now instead of remembering that I’m not made for this world, and I am just a pilgrim here, and my Heavenly Father has called me to a higher calling and to a Kingdom mindset that takes the focus off of self and places it on the majesty and glory of the Lord!

And with that mindset, worry vanishes, just like that.