Anxiety, Discovering Peace, Peace, Words of Endurance

*Divine Disconnection – God is the source of Peace, so when I don’t have a relationship with Him – when I don’t spend time with Him through prayer, worship, meditation or experience Him through Scripture – I’ve unplugged myself from the source of peace.

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

*Wrong Reliance – When I trust in my own ability, in my own strength to overcome or deal with my problems more that I trust God with my situation – I won’t experience peace or God’s blessing.

This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the LORD.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.”

*Worry-Warting – When Peter bailed out of the boat to be with Jesus (Matthew 14:24-32), he walked on water just fine until he focused on the waves around him. As soon as he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the surrounding storm, he sank like a rock. When my focus is on my surrounding circumstances, worry takes over and my peace will sink out of sight too.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts
and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

*Consuming Conflicts – Human relationships are important to God. Jesus told us to treat to others the way we want to be treated (Matthew 7:12) and to resolve our conflicts with others before we pray or offer service to God (Matthew t:23-24). When we have unresolved conflict in our relationships – our relationship with God suffers – which disconnects us from our source of peace.

Work at living in peace with everyone …

*Refusal to Release – God promises His peace to those who present their requests to Him. When I don’t hand my problems over to God, He can’t hand His peace offer to me.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.
Ask God to help them;
intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority
so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives
marked by godliness and dignity.
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-2 (NLT)

*Borderline Behavior – Righteousness or right behavior produces peace. The two are inseparable. When I mess up – hurt someone – or do something I know is wrong – my peace evaporates like water in the desert.

Oh, that you had listened to my commands!
Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river
and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.
ISAIAH 48:18 (NLT)

*Detrimental Direction – God’s peace is supposed to “rule” in my heart. When His peace disappears – it is like a warning light telling me something is wrong. I may be heading in a wrong direction or considering a detrimental course of action.

And let the peace that comes from Christ
rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Anxiety, Endurance for the Journey, Loss, Trust, Words of Endurance

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

You know that I love comparing the game of baseball to the journey through life. It is amazing to me how many principals hold true for both baseball and life.

For instance, there is the principal of the batter loosening his grip on the bat rather than tightening his grip when he is at the plate. The batter loosens his grip as the pitch is thrown so that his hands are relaxed then he is ready and set up for connecting firmly to the pitch.

I was recently sent a devotional written by Cathy Jodeit whose 16-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2006. Cathy began to journal her journey during that time and now has a website and shares her devotionals to encourage others.

I wanted to write my own analogy on this principle of baseball and life but I think I will just share what Cathy shared in that devotional about Loosening Your Grip.

“… It has occurred to me that loosening the grip on a bat in a baseball game is very closely related to holding life loosely. I don’t know about you but the tighter I try to hold onto life and try to control it, the more frustrated, disappointed, angry or fearful I seem to get. It is only when I let go and let God be my navigator and the true holder of what is going on that I am freed up to give it my best. My best wisdom, my best attempt, my best acceptance, my best attitude, my best swing, etc.

We tend to choke up when we are put in pressure situations – get anxious about an outcome – unsure about our ability to cope – too dependent on the results. That is one of my greatest obstacles to overcome – to quit trying to not only control situations but people and let God be the one that I go to for security in situations and let God be the one who directs others HIS WAY and not be insistent on them responding in MY way.

Life throws us all kinds of balls, fastballs, slow balls, curves balls, sliders BUT God is the one who knows what is coming. If we loosen our grip on life and focus on Jesus … it is then that we have the potential that God has given us to get on base or even hit a homerun in the situation that we are standing at the plate, waiting and pondering with great hope how it is to turn out.

We are called to loosen our grip on life and let God tighten His on our lives. For that is where we will find true victory and joy.”

Loosen your grip on your life and find true joy in knowing that He will never let you go ….

My sheep listen to my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they will never die,
and no one can steal them out of my hand.
My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all,
and no person can steal my sheep out of my Father’s hand.

Loosen your grip on your life and experience true victory and peace in knowing that He guides and holds us with His right hand…

Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?
Where can I run from you?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I lie down in the grave, you are there.
If I rise with the sun in the east
and settle in the west beyond the sea,
even there you would guide me.
With your right hand you would hold me.

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Anxiety, Fear, Grief, Words of Endurance

Worry weighs us down;
a cheerful word picks us up.

You all have to know by now how much I love the Word of God. One of the many reasons is that it has been my guiding light on my darkest paths.

By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.

That beam of light guided me on one of my darkest paths – the path of anxiety and panic attacks.

The Bible warns us not to worry because it will affect us physically. Anxiety is the physical implication of worry – the physical side effect of worry. Anxiety is worry grown up and fully developed. In fact, if worry were the common cold – anxiety would be pneumonia!

The word anxiety literally means “to press tight, to strangle, to be weighted down with griefs.” I can say an “Amen” to that – anxiety certainly weighed me down. There are many ways that the human body is weighed down by anxiety. For me it was panic attacks – a racing heart, chest pain, hyperventilation and deep sweats. My thoughts were consumed with irrational fears and terror. And my immune system was severely suppressed – I caught every virus that came my way. My body – weighed down by the anxiety – could not fight back – it was exhausted by the anxiety.

A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. PROVERBS 17:22 (THE MESSAGE)

Everyone, at one time or another, experiences anxiety in its mild forms. Mild symptoms of anxiety pass with no lasting effects but in its more extreme forms, anxiety can be debilitating as it was for me. When anxiety is severe enough to disrupt a person’s lifestyle, it is called an anxiety disorder. The most common anxiety disorders described below can vary in severity from mildly disruptive to totally incapacitating.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Exaggerated worry and tension over everyday events and decisions.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PSTD) – Frightening and intrusive memories that result from trauma such as an accident, assault, surviving a disaster, etc. Symptoms can include nightmares, depression, withdrawal, emotional numbness and feelings of helplessness.

  • Phobias – Extreme, irrational fear of social settings, objects or situations.

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Intrusive, unwanted and repetitive thoughts or rituals performed out of a feeling of urgent need.

  • Panic Disorder – Episodes of extreme fear and dread, called panic attacks, that strike unexpectedly and repeatedly for no apparent reason.

  • I share these with you because you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder or you may know someone who is. Let me say there is no shame here if you are experiencing anxiety – it is a common path shared by many of us on the journey of life. The good news is that all of these disorders are fixable with the appropriate treatment and you can look forward to a time when anxiety will no longer dominate your life.

    I can testify to that! Thank you Lord!
    So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy.

    On the journey with you,
    Jan Dravecky


    Anxiety, Peace, The Winds of Change, Words of Endurance

    Change isn’t something we humans handle well. When we’re forced to deal with change such as the upheaval cancer can bring, most of us will recognize some indications of stress. In fact, even positive changes such as getting married, taking a vacation, or completing school can stress us out.

    When we’re under stress we may eat less (or more) than usual, particularly of certain foods. We may cry more easily. We may be more than a little irritable with coworkers, family, or friends. We may not be able to sleep or we may want only to sleep. We may feel anxious or have panic attacks. We may seem to be “preoccupied” or become forgetful—the list of stress symptoms could go on and on. And the stress behind those symptoms can do a number on our emotional, physical and spiritual health.

    So score yourself on the Life Change Scale and see what your current level of change-related stress is.

    No wonder you’re feeling stressed! Maybe it’s time to renew your efforts to adjust to the changes happening in your life.

    If you need more reasons to give yourself a break, or cut yourself some slack, note that the researchers who did this study identified a connection between unrelieved stress and physical illness. Individuals who scored 300 or more Life Change Units in a twelve-month period had a 40-50% chance of developing a major illness within two years. The more change we must deal with, the more stress we accumulate. It doesn’t matter who you are or how much you may know about human behavior. The formula applies to us all.

    Christian Psychologist Gary Oliver, for example, was a devoted husband and loving father. He had a busy practice, taught at a prestigious seminary and had authored several successful counseling books. His life would be deemed a success by anyone’s standards. But after his second battle with cancer, the winds of change and the stresses that accompanied those changes led him to make some changes of his own. One of those adjustments was to redefine his view of success. Success was no longer a long list of credits or accomplishments. It became “just putting one foot in front of the other.”

    So give yourself a break. If you’re dealing with cancer, whether as a patient or a caregiver, you’re dealing with a full load of change. Perhaps it’s time for some stress management; time to call in reinforcements, a helpful neighbor, or a housekeeper; time to steal away for a few days or even a few hours; time to call a friend, a pastor, or your doctor. Whatever you do to increase your ability to cope with the stress of change, do it! It will be good for you.

    Life Change Scale – Which events have happened to you during the past 12 months?

    HTML Tables
    Event Value Life Event Happened to you? Your Score
    100 Death of Spouse
    73 Divorce
    65 Marital Separation
    63 Jail Term
    63 Death of close family member
    53 Personal injury or illness
    50 Marriage
    47 Fired from job
    45 Marital reconciliation
    45 Retirement
    44 Change in health of family member
    40 Pregnancy
    39 Sex difficulties
    39 Gain of new family member
    39 Business readjustment
    38 Change in financial state
    37 Death of close friend
    36 Change to different line of work
    35 Change in number of arguments with spouse
    31 Mortgage of loan over $10,000
    30 Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
    29 Change in responsibilities at work
    29 Son or daughter leaving home
    29 Trouble with in-laws
    28 Outstanding personal achievement
    26 Wife begins or stops work
    26 Begin or end school
    25 Change in living conditions
    24 Revision of personal habits
    23 Trouble with boss
    20 Change in work hours or conditions
    20 Change in residence
    20 Change in schools
    19 Change in recreation
    19 Change in church activities
    18 Change in social activities
    17 Mortgage or loan less than $10,000
    16 Change in sleeping habits
    15 Change in number of family get togethers
    15 Change in eating habits
    13 Vacation
    12 Christmas
    11 Minor violations of the law

    Anxiety, Breaking the Chains of Worry, Peace, Words of Endurance

    Don’t worry about anything;
    instead, pray about everything.
    Tell God what you need,
    and thank him for all he has done.
    Then you will experience God’s peace,
    which exceeds anything we can understand.
    His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    The story of Jesus walking on the stormy waters of the Sea of Galilee and calling Peter toward Him is one of Jesus’ best-known miracles. It is a powerful image that is easy to describe and remember. It represents so vividly the choice we have when we face the storms of life.

    We can focus on the storm and worry about every possible scenario that could possibly happen.

    OR …

    We can focus on God. We can pray, tell God what we need, thank Him for all He has done and then experience His promised peace in the midst of any storm.

    When we pay attention to God and focus on Him, there is a sense in which we walk above the problems that surround us. It is not that we are no longer threatened. It is not that our pain is gone. The problems and challenges are still there, but we have hope and can remain peaceful in spite of the turmoil that swirls around us.

    The moment we pay attention to the storm and take our eyes off God, however, we lose our peace and begin to sink into the depths of worry and despair. Worry is definitely a “Peace Buster”.

    When Peter bailed out of the boat to be with Jesus, he walked on water just fine until he focused on the waves around him. As soon as he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the surrounding storm, he sank like a rock. When our focus is on our surrounding circumstances – worry takes over and our peace will sink out of sight too.

    I have spent my fair share of time sinking beneath the storms of life. And as a result of that my peace ebbs and flows. To be honest, I hate being blindsided. So when an unexpected storm hits, it initially throws me for a loop. I pay attention to the storm. As the first shock wave hits me – I worry – I am afraid – I get angry – I feel guilty. I begin to sink.

    BUT the difference is that I have learned that I don’t have to sink. Just as Jesus reached out his hand and rescued Peter, the Holy Spirit reaches out to rescue me by reminding me that I do not need to focus on the fears of my flesh – I have a choice. I can choose to change my focus from the storm to my Savior. It is then that I experience His peace.

    “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart.
    And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
    So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

    On the journey with you,
    Jan Dravecky


    Anxiety, Breaking the Chains of Worry, Peace, Words of Endurance

    Don’t worry about anything;
    instead, pray about everything.
    Tell God what you need,
    and thank him for all he has done.
    Then you will experience God’s peace,
    which exceeds anything we can understand.
    His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    Nothing aggravates me more then when I am told to thank God for my suffering because I never feel thankful for the adversity that seems to occur continuously – on various levels – in my life. AND while I can verbally go through the motions and thank God for the adversity – God knows my heart. I always find myself asking God for forgiveness for my ungrateful heart.

    BUT I have learned that when adversity strikes and I start down that ungrateful worry trail it helps to remember all God has done and promised for me. It does not change my circumstances but my focus is diverted from all my worries and obsessions to our awesome God and His Truth. After I consider all He has done it is then I can go to God with a true thankful heart.

    “I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
    PSALM 77:12 (NIV)

    So when you find yourself on that ungrateful worry trail it will help to remember that no matter what happens to us during this earthly life, as a child of God we know and can be thankful for …

    The gift of eternal life …

    “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son,
    so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
    JOHN 3:16 (NLT)

    Jesus is preparing a place for us, Heaven, our eternal home …

    “My Father’s house has many rooms;
    if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
    And if I go and prepare a place for you,
    I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
    JOHN 14:2-3 (NIV)

    We will live with God in heaven where He promises there will be no more suffering …

    I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying,
    “Look, God’s home is now among his people!
    He will live with them, and they will be his people.
    God himself will be with them.
    He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
    and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
    All these things are gone forever.”
    REVELATION 21:3-4 (NLT)

    The Lord is faithful to keep His promises …

    The LORD always keeps his promises;
    he is gracious in all he does.
    PSALM 145:13 (NLT)

    AND no matter how difficult the circumstance we are going through – He promises the following …

    And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ROMANS 8:28 (NLT)

    As I consider all He has done over the span of my life, this gives me great hope for any future circumstance – breaking the chains of worry – for the Lord has been faithful to me.

    The thought of my suffering and homelessness
    is bitter beyond words.
    I will never forget this awful time,
    as I grieve over my loss.
    Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:
    The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
    Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
    LAMENTATIONS 3:19-23 (NLT)

    On the journey with you,
    Jan Dravecky


    Anxiety, Breaking the Chains of Worry, Hope, Words of Endurance

    Don’t worry about anything;
    instead, pray about everything.
    Tell God what you need,
    and thank him for all he has done.
    Then you will experience God’s peace,
    which exceeds anything we can understand.
    His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    We are told over and over again in the Scripture to tell God what we need. I had faithfully followed this command by presenting my requests to God daily. But sadly, looking back, it was my habit that if I did not receive an answer within my time frame I would then “lose heart” and stop praying assuming that God was not going to answer my prayers.

    But all that changed for me when I read the Parable of the Persistent Widow found in Luke 18:1-8. Jesus told that parable to His disciples to …

    “… show that they should always pray and never give up.“
    LUKE 18:1 (NLT)

    Since that time, my prayers to God are like the Persistent Widow’s requests of the Judge. My prayers – filled with His Word and Promises – continually and consistently pound the Gates of Heaven. I believe and trust Jesus’ when He said …

    “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.
    Keep on seeking, and you will find.
    Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
    MATTHEW 7:7 (NLT)

    I also trust that my persistence may be accompanied with a confidence that my prayers go directly to the throne of grace – our High Priest – Jesus.

    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way,
    just as we are—yet was without sin.
    Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
    so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
    HEBREWS 4:15-16

    And when my worries are so consuming that I don’t even know how to pray, I can trust that the Holy Spirit will intercede for me.

    And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
    For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for.
    But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
    And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying,
    for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
    ROMANS 8:26-27 (NLT)

    How awesome is it that you and I can know that we can take our worries and continually bring them to the throne room of God. We along with King David, can tell Him all our needs and all of our bases are covered!!!!

    Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
    answer me, for I need your help.
    Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
    Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
    You are my God.
    Be merciful to me, O Lord,
    for I am calling on you constantly.
    PSALM 86:1-3

    On the journey with you,
    Jan Dravecky


    Anxiety, Breaking the Chains of Worry, Hope, Prayer, Words of Endurance

    Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
    Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
    Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
    His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    Something will wake me up in the middle of my sleep – usually it is a hot flash, bathroom stop or Dave tossing and turning. And right when I am ready to snuggle in and go back to sleep – BAM – that is when they hit me and overtake any hope for sleep – WORRIES – my terrors of the night! And to make matters worse, my worries always seem bigger – more magnified – more terrifying in the middle of the night.

    I have learned though that focusing and ruminating on all of my worries brings no resolution to my problems or cares nor does it allow for sleep but bringing my cares before God – my helper – does.

    Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
    1 PETER 5:7 (NLT)

    How awesome is it that we as children of God can take our worries to God and know that He hears our prayers.

    The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
    PSALM 34:17

    AND He not only hears our prayers but He answers them.

    I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.
    PSALM 120:1

    AND it is even more comforting and assuring knowing that …

    Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us,
    to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
    EPHESIANS 3:20 (NLT)

    So now when I wake up in the middle of the night and my terrors of the night consume me – I turn to God, give Him all my worries and cares through prayer and then …

    I will lie down and sleep in peace,
    For you alone, O LORD,
    make me dwell in safety.
    PSALM 4:8

    I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
    Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
    I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
    PSALM 63:6-8 (NLT)

    On the journey with you,
    Jan Dravecky


    Anxiety, Breaking the Chains of Worry, Healing, Hope, Words of Endurance

    Don’t worry about anything;
    instead, pray about everything.
    Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
    Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
    His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    Worrying is non-productive, burdensome and exhausting. But it is not easy to simply stop worrying and turn off anxiety like a faucet – OH wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could!!!!! But for those who live with a serious or life-threatening illness, the tendency to worry and become anxious is especially problematic because worry and anxiety rob us of peace, exhaust us and undermine our ability to make good decisions.

    Yet God is well aware of our human tendency to worry. Scattered throughout His Word, the Bible, we find warnings against worry and advice for dealing with anxiety. In Philippians 4, we find great instruction for breaking the chains of worry – let’s take a closer look …

    “Don’t worry about anything …”

    God doesn’t suggest or encourage us not to worry – He commands us not to worry! When we worry, we carry a burden God never intended for us to bear. No wonder we buckle under its weight!

    When we worry, it’s as if we are saying to God, “You really aren’t in control here. You may be able to keep the universe running, the stars shining and the planets spinning but You surely can’t handle my problem.” The truth is we don’t trust God.

    “God’s children slander Him by worry and anxiety.”

    At the root of much of our worry and anxiety is unbelief. Our faith is anemic. We don’t actually believe God will help us. Like the father of the demon-possessed boy in Mark 9:24, we come to God for help but we aren’t sure He can help. The good news is, like this desperate father we can admit our unbelief. We, too, can cry out to God …

    “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
    MARK 9:24

    How do we do battle with unbelief? How does our faith grow? One answer is found in Romans 10:17 …

    So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
    ROMANS 10:17 (NLT)

    The more time we spend in the Scriptures, the more our faith is strengthened. Daily time in the Scriptures is one of the most effective tools for winning the war against worry. As we read about God’s faithfulness to His people, learn about His attributes and character, see His power displayed time and time again, the Word of God – “which is living and active” HEBREWS 4:12 – begins to transform us from the inside out. Our faith grows and as it grows – our worries subside.

    Some worriers have a slightly different challenge. They readily believe that God is capable of handling their problems. Their problem with God is the secret belief that God may not love them enough to help them with their problem. They have no doubt that God is capable – they are not sure that He is willing.

    As one confessing worrywart shared, “While I know God is big enough to handle my problem, I sometimes question whether He really loves me enough to help. I wish I didn’t question His love but it is the most difficult thing in the world to believe that an invisible God – the God of all creation – could love me.

    When we question God’s love for us we feel insecure, unworthy and abandoned. We then feel totally responsible for our well-being – our future – our problems. So we worry. We may know from 1 John 4:16 that “God is love.” We may have memorized John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” but somehow that love has not touched our hearts. Although we know it intellectually, we aren’t convinced in the depths of our soul that it is really true.

    Like the father in Mark 9, we stand before God lacking, knowing that we need God’s help to grasp what He is offering. Like that desperate man, we can echo his honest prayer and ask God to help us overcome our doubts about His love for us.

    Our need to know of God’s love is nothing new. Paul prayed that the Christians in Ephesus would grow in their knowledge of God’s love. We can employ this prayer for ourselves as well. And we can be assured that our honest prayer for God to reveal His love to us will not go unanswered.

    We pray this prayer with you and over you …

    Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
    Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
    And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should,
    how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
    May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
    Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
    EPHESIANS 3:17-19 (NLT)

    On the journey with you,
    Dave and Jan Dravecky


    Anxiety, Prayer, Words of Endurance

    Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
    And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that,
    what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
    LUKE 12:25-26 (WORDS OF JESUS) (NLT)

    It is little wonder that the Gospel writer Luke, a physician, recorded what Jesus said about worry. Worry does affect one physically and certainly does not add a single moment to one’s life – in fact it may very well shorten one’s life span.

    Worry weighs a person down;
    Proverbs 12:25

    Apparently worry was a costly problem in Jesus’ day just as it is in ours. As Jesus points out, worry doesn’t accomplish anything. Instead of making things better, worry actually drains our resources. Even so, we often try to justify our worry, especially during difficult times.

    Some worriers believe that worry is not only justifiable but is a necessary part of caring. But the truth is when we actually care for someone, we express that care externally through offers to help, listen and comfort. If we worry about someone, our efforts are internal – we may fret and stew over a problem but that activity rarely leads to action. It does nothing to lend assistance or alleviate pain. In fact, it exhausts the worriers and can prevent them from helping the very person they are “worrying” about.

    Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow;
    It empties today of its strength.

    Worry is a drain on the person being worried about as well. Often the person who is the object of worry is well aware of it. That person may not share about needs with the worrier because he or she does not want the worrier to worry! As a result, rather than gaining an ally or help, the person in need loses a potential resource.

    In addition to being counterproductive, worry has some risky side effects. Worry …

    • Distorts our perspective of the problem.

    • Makes us feel powerless to deal with the problem.

    • Makes it difficult to think about anything else.

    • Makes us vulnerable to fear and depression.

    • Is physically and mentally exhausting.

    • Accomplishes nothing toward resolving the problem.

    • Robs us of creativity and joy.

    • Robs us of peace and spiritual fulfillment.

    • Interferes with our ability to relax – causing insomnia.

    • Results in muscle tension – especially in the neck, upper back and face – which can lead to chronic pain.

    • Produces headaches – especially in the forehead and temples.
    • Increases stress hormones that can irritate the stomach and result in gastrointestinal problems – the classic “knot in the stomach.”

    If you are given to being a “worry wart” even reading these unpleasant side effects may have given you a knot in your stomach! But please don’t worry about your worrying – take heart! There is hope! God knows all about our tendency to worry so He provided lots of instruction and encouragement to help us wage our war with worry.

    Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
    Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
    Then you will experience God’s peace,
    which exceeds anything we can understand.
    His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    On the journey with you,
    Dave and Jan Dravecky