“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
Philippians 4:6-7, The Message
Every time I hear or read this particular passage of Scripture, I can’t help but hum the tune of, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” I’m not sure why, but that is my instant reaction. Silly. I know. Throw the first stone!
But happiness in place of worry is not exactly what this Scripture is talking about. The focus of these verses is to replace worry with prayer. Give it up and over to God and in so doing, find a peace that He is in control and you are not. Happiness, while nice, is fleeting and fickle. Peace and assurance in knowing that God’s got your back is a much better thing to strive for and hold onto.
Worry can be an incredibly destructive force in a person’s life. Ulcers, stress, fatigue, irritability, and many other symptoms begin to physically affect us when we let worry rule. I have had my share of worries and I have to remind myself to take a deep breath, pray as I let it out, and then let go and let God take control. Not an easy thing for me to let go of control. When will things happen? When will it get better? Why is this happening? None of these are questions that I need to have answered until God’s time to answer them. So why worry?
Apart from my own experience of handing over my worries through prayer, I have seen how powerful a tool it can be for others. My mother-in-law used to be a Grade-A worrier. I’ve been told stories by her and her children about how often she worried about things and people, to the point where she could literally be found lying on the floor with worry. Guess what? She decided that God was stronger and better able to handle her worry than she was. She began an earnest and very enriched prayer life and I have seen the change that has made in her life and her relationship with God. She even has prayer journals for all of us (kids, spouses, and grandkids) where she writes down our needs and worries and then lifts those up on our behalf! That’s powerful and effective.
Prayer doesn’t always change things. More often it changes us. We are able to gain a new perspective and a new peace to help us see ahead moment by moment, assured that no matter the outcome, God has our best interests at heart and will take care of us.
I came across this quote on Pinterest and felt it fit with the worry theme. I decided to whip up my own, less artistic version of the print I saw, on Publisher. I really like how this quote focuses on the positive in light of the negative. That’s what prayer helps us do in the midst of worry. We can see the light ahead in the darkest part of the storm. There is hope. Just hold on to God.
Day 2’s Daily Step from ,“Daily Steps for God Chicks: The 90-Day Devotional For Real Women,” by Holly Wagner, was:
“On a sheet of paper, write down something that you are worrying about.” Take the paper, offer it to God in prayer, and then say sayonara to the paper and with it the worry. And you cannot take the paper back out.
Yuck…Who wants to dig in the trash? I paraphrased quite freely the above step that isn’t in quotes. What, you want to know everything Holly has to say (it’s darn good)? Well, go purchase the book!
Here was the deep, dark ugly worry on my heart
“I am worried about becoming so overwhelmed when Kasen arrives in June, with feeling lonely, with not knowing or being my full purpose, that depression will sink its cold, ragged teeth so far into me that I won’t be able to escape.”
Yes, I struggle with depression. Lovely family trait that I inherited.
Here is what I did with that written out worry
I will not retrieve that worry from the receptacle its been physically placed in. And I will not attempt to pry control from God when the worry comes knocking, and it will. I will breathe and I will pray, and I will rest assured that I will be okay.
God is bigger than the boogeyman and worry.
What worries do you need to hand over in prayer and receive God’s peace instead?
Can I pray for you?
Hope to see you for Day 3!