Years ago, I read a Christian fiction book titled, Becoming Olivia by Roxanne Henke. In it, the main character, Libby, struggles with anxiety, depression, and worry. Through a group therapy session, she learns a technique to get her worrying under control.
Every time Libby starts to worry about something, anything, she is supposed to write it down. All day long she keeps a list. Then, instead of worrying throughout the day, she waits until her predetermined 30 minutes of “worry time” when she can focus her energy on worrying about everything on the list.
It sounds hard to worry on command, doesn’t it? And maybe a waste of time? Libby found both of those to be true.
Now, I’m not suggesting we should all start making lists of things to worry about. I’ll admit I like being able to check things off of a To Do list, but a “worry list?” I’ll pass on that one.
However, what if every time we start to worry, we give it to God instead? Right then and there, give it to God.
Think about it. If it’s a situation I can do something about, worry won’t help me. But God will guide me in the direction I need to go. He will show me what I need to focus on to make a difference in the situation.
If I’m worried about something I have no control over, worry still won’t help me. Worry doesn’t change anything. But giving it to God can bring me peace. God can handle anything, while my worry will only make me sick.
I’d never read Philippians 4:6-7 in The Message until I was writing this blog post. When I read it I thought, “Yes, that’s it!” Read it again.
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.
When Christ displaces worry at the center of my life—that sounds like peace to me!
So, will you try it with me? Every time you feel worry taking over, stop right where you are and give it to God. He will know what to do with it.
It doesn’t have to be a long elaborate prayer. Just be honest. Tell Him what’s on your mind and that you want to give it to Him. Sometimes I have to give it to Him over and over. We have a tendency to want to take it back and worry some more, don’t we?
Writing it down is helpful too, but not so it can be worried about later. Start a prayer journal, and write down your worries and prayers to God. As you pour yourself out on paper, you’ll be pouring yourself out to God.
Will you leave a comment today with your thoughts about worry? Or, if you will try to give your worries to God throughout the day, simply say “I’m in.”