Worry

Worry (noun):  A state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.  (verb):  To give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.

Sounds lovely, doesn't it?  

As I read my devotional tonight, I realized I have been worrying.  A lot.  And not just about this thing or that thing, but about everything under the sun...Work, my musical endeavors, personal relationships, money, personal appearance, church, family, the state of the world, etc.  

Apparently, nothing is off limits these days for my mind.  And the crazy thing is, it has become normal for me and probably most of us.  If you think about it, the pace of our world and society dictates you do a million and one things at a time and do them well to "keep up."  It's no wonder worry creeps its ugly head in.  It's not hard to do with everything else going on.  

But I love what Scripture says about worry and how God will take care of you:

Then Jesus said to his disciples:  "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens:  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?  Consider how the lilies grow.  They do not labor or spin.  yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it...But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."  - LUKE 12:22-31

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In tis world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world." - JOHN 16:33

When I read these jewels of Scripture, what I realize is that worry is something you have to actively fight against.  You have to choose to not surrender to it but instead hand over each and every one of those anxieties to Jesus who, let's face it, has a better handle on them than we do anyways.  I know, easier said than done.  But I think it's just like any other discipline in life.  

For example, when I'm trying to get back into a workout routine, I usually don't find my stride so to speak right away and without being intentional about it.  I have to have a plan, a regiment that I stick to and commit myself to, otherwise I fall off the wagon again and again.  When I don't feel like working out, I usually find some excuse to get out of it or tell myself I'll make time for it later, which usually doesn't happen.  I have to actively fight the urge to avoid it.  I think handing your worries over to Jesus and giving him the reigns again is much the same.  When you start to worry about something, it's easy to let your mind start racing over the problem..."What if this happens?  What if that happens?  Am I doing enough?  Should I have done this instead?"  It's an endless cycle.  Instead, try to stop yourself and offer it up to him in prayer and ask him to take it from you, ask for his help in how to handle it.  He wants us to trust him in all things and to give us peace.  I don't think that means we just sit on the couch all day and let him handle everything.  We still need to be engaged in our own lives and listen for his guidance, but I think ultimately when we stop worrying, we can walk around with free hands rather than carrying around more baggage than we can hold to begin with.  We have more peace.

Peace (noun):  Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. 

There, that sounds much better, doesn't it?  

So here's to a journey of worrying less and trusting Jesus more.  I hope you'll join me.