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October 18, 2012

Ammunition for the Battle Over Worry



I have never considered myself a worrier.  Maybe I have been able to avoid this tendency because I have always had others around me who seemed to have the  job covered.  My mother was a champion level worrier.  I think she believed worrying about her children would somehow keep her fears concerning them from ever coming true.  My husband has been a worrier ever since he was a child.  He has recounted to me that when his parents went out for the night he would often wait by the window until they returned home.  Perhaps by having my closest family members worrying around me, I never felt the need to join in.

It seems, as of late, this has started to change.  I am not sure if it is because my mother is now gone and I feel the need to carry the torch of worry for our family.  Or maybe it is just a normal right of passage, with age comes worry.  Although I am not sure of the exact reason for the shift in my worry habits, the change is very real.  I currently find myself fearful and worried about a myriad of things. These worries float in and out of my mind as I go through my days.

Some are political concerns:
How will our nation overcome the huge deficit we now face?
Who will win the election?
If my candidate doesn't win, will our country be forever changed?

Some are family concerns:
When will our house sell?
Is my husband's new job the right position for him?
Will my brother-in-law find a better job?

Some are personal concerns:
Should I go back to work?
How do I best pursue my dream of writing?
How will I adjust to the move to Buffalo?

My list could go on. I seem to have no shortage of things to worry about, only a shortage of peace.

As I ruminate on my worries and concerns, I often remember something I heard many years ago. "Worry is a mild form of atheism." When I first heard this I did not have a problem with worry.  Now these words echoing through my mind hold more conviction.  Knowing I had to stop my new and strengthening habit of worry I turned to the scriptures for help.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  Psalm 56:3

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

As you can see the bible gives us many verses to cling to as we battle our tendency to worry. God also gave me insight into another scripture which has helped me tremendously in my battle with worry.

The scripture God spoke to me is Matthew 18:3.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.".  God impressed on me that I needed to take this scripture and apply it to the worries in my life.  The image I was given was of a loved and well cared for child. The child is able to live totally carefree as she knows she is protected and taken care of by her parents.

God showed me that I have Him, my Heavenly Father,  and He is handling everything for me. I can live my life free from worry because my Dad has it all covered. As I have meditated on this simple fact, my worry habit has all but disappeared.  I pray that these words will help in your fight to overcome your worry tendencies as well.