“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”
There is not a lot worse than worry. Worry eats away at your happiness. I think we can all identify with worry – when we have an exam the next day and we can’t think about anything else. When our child is at a party and we don’t know when they will be home. When you have bills to pay, or a work presentation, or relationship problems… worry grabs hold of your problems, tells you you can’t handle them, and spits them back at you bigger than before. Worry is nasty and to be avoided at all costs. But how?
“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5: 6-7
You can not handle everything in life alone. Nor were you meant to. If you feel like you are carrying more than you can handle, don’t! We are human and we can not do everything. The sooner we recognise our fragility, the better equipped we are to receive strength from outside of ourselves. God made us and he is able to help us. He can’t step into situations where you think you have it all covered, but he can step into situations where you call out for his help.
Hand it over
If you knew a friend who was very efficient, loved you to pieces, and was willing to help you out with something, wouldn’t you give the problem to them and let them deal with it? We hand over our cars to mechanics so we don’t have to worry about them. We pay an IT specialist to help with our computers. We go to a hair dresser to get our hair done instead of buying a box and messing it all up ourselves. Why not do the same with your anxiety and concerns? Hand them over and trust that the professional has it handled. God is better at dealing with all your issues than you ever will be. Give them to him, and don’t try take them back.
Use a symbol
It sounds easy to give your problems over to God but in practice the difficult part comes when you have to leave them there. Situations don’t change overnight and often we do not know what outcomes may look like. In this “in-between space” we often pick up the worry that we have put down. As things get more and more stressful this temptation becomes more difficult. The best way to stand strong and not take worry back, is to create some kind of visual symbol. Write down your problem and put the piece of paper in a notebook or log it on your phone. When you feel yourself grabbing for the worry again, go back to the cardboard and remind yourself of why you don’t want to go wasting time and energy worrying about this. Ask a friend to hold you accountable, put a Post-it on your computer or buy a pot plant and stick little notes in the soil. Whatever works for you.
Peace in your heart is critical for your spiritual, emotional, and physical wellbeing. If you are someone who follows Christ, peace is part of the deal. There is nothing in the world that can replace a sense of peace in your heart. If you don’t have this peace I encourage you to look for it, no matter what it takes. Jesus tells us, “don’t worry about your life.” He says he created flowers, birds, and mountains –he can take care of you. Take some time, friend, to pinpoint the worry in your life and then give it to God. Then stand your ground and let him look after you.