Wrestling with Worry
Anxiety springs from the desire that things should happen as we wish rather than as God wills. ANONYMOUS
Worry is so pervasive that many counselors consider it to be the “common cold” of emotional problems. So if you struggle with worry and anxiety you are not alone. Statistics show that one out of four Americans will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder during his or her lifetime.
Worry and anxiety are especially troublesome when you are battling serious illness or dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy. Worry adds an additional heavy load during a time when burdens are already too heavy to carry. Worry can be the added weight that causes you to collapse under the burden of a difficult situation.
I can certainly say an “Amen” to that. I discovered the dark side of worry the hard way. There was a time in my life when I could worry and get away with it with little negative side effects. But then when the difficult, hard times of life hit us – my worry barometer went off the charts and I collapsed under the weight of it all.
I used to think that worry was the way to care for the people I loved. I would worry about their situations and how things would work out in the future. I wanted to help so I tried to figure everything out. I tried to consider all the possible scenarios and what I would have to do to control or be prepared for each scenario that I conjured up in my mind.
Worriers are visionaries without the optimism.
EDWARD T. WELCH (RUNNING SCARED)
When you come right down to it I was afraid of the future and what it could possibly hold. I was afraid the future would not turn out the way I wanted it to so I did everything in my power to control it. And if I could not control it – I was at least going to be prepared for it!
It was hard for me to be optimistic about our future when our world was falling apart around us. My worrying started to affect me physically. I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. I couldn’t eat and I lost weight. I experienced panic attacks and eventually entered the wilderness of a deep, dark depression.
My worries were destroying me.
In order for me to stop worrying the first thing I needed to do was to place my trust where it belonged – in God’s loving, faithful hands rather than my own. I needed to stop focusing on the “what ifs” and focus on the promises of God in His Word.
By knowing that He will lead us and guide us till we meet Him on the other side …
For that is what God is like.
He is our God forever and ever,
and he will guide us until we die.
PSALM 48:14 (NLT)
By knowing that our worries and fears will never separate us from His Love …
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—
indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us
from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ROMANS 8:38-39 (NLT)
Reassuring myself of His faithfulness …
The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
LAMENTATIONS 3:22-23 (NLT)
And then I could and you can too …
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 PETER 5:7 (NLT)
On the journey with you,