“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
You have probably heard the phrase “sick with worry”. And you may think it to be just an exaggerated phrase. But over the summer I learnt that worrying can make you physically sick.
I’m not going to go into all the details, but basically something good had happened to me one day, and then the next day I had this huge worry that it would be pulled out from under me because of a stupid mistake I’d made a few days before. And as I worried over it I started feeling nauseous, I was getting dizzy, I had to sit down because I felt as though I was about to fall over. I was struggling not to throw up. It wasn’t good.
The effects of worry rarely are. Because usually the stuff we worry over is stuff we can’t change – we get anxious in the run-up to exam results. We worry about what a certain person thinks of us, when really all that matters is what our Father God thinks of us (and He tells us again and again that he loves us). We worry about what the future holds, or how upcoming events will pan out.
And the thing is, when we are caught up in worry it means we aren’t really enjoying the life we have right now. Which is why Paul says we should stop worrying and instead bring everything to God in prayer. With God on our side we do not need to worry about anything. He has a perfect plan to prosper us and not harm us (Jeremiah 29:11) if we just trust Him. He walks through our times of hardship, concern and uncertainty with us, upholding us in His “victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10), reassuring us that in the end He will cause all things to work for our good (see Romans 8:28).
Marin Luther once said “Pray, and let God worry.” I think that is great advice that we would do well to heed today. We need to stop worrying, and start trusting God more. We need to hand the areas of our life we like to worry about over to Him and trust that He knows what He is doing. We need to bring our worries to God in prayer, and then leave them with Him. We need to stop being so caught up in worry and concerns about all sorts of trivial matters and things that we can’t change. We need to focus on just trusting God and enjoying what He has given us today, rather than worrying about what tomorrow will bring. When we let a few worries bog us down we miss out on all the other awesome stuff that is around us, we miss opportunities to glorify God and we miss hearing Him speak to us because our focus isn’t on Him but on whatever it is we are worrying over.
So today let’s stop worrying, and start praying!