Psalm 118:24

"This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Monday, February 6, 2012

Confessions From a Worrier

I'm laughing as I remember that last night I told my husband that he married a basket case, but the truth is, it's not so funny.  I am a classic worrier -- I try to plan in my head exactly how things are going to happen, what the outcome will be, and then spend the rest of the time worrying about that outcome.  I worry that my son will get bullied in school; I worry that I'm hurting people's feelings; I worry I'm not doing a good enough job at.....everything.  I WORRY.  Does that sound familiar?  I don't want to worry -- it's stressful.  It's tiring.  It's time consuming.  But lately, there are circumstances in my life that are really uncertain and out of my control, and I seem to be incapable of controlling the worrying. 

As Christ followers, we are not to worry.  The Bible tells us not to worry.  Philippians 4:6 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."  Supplication is a humble prayer, entreaty or petition, so supplication with thanksgiving is a humble prayer with acknowledgement to God for His blessings.  Instead of worrying, we should be on our knees petitioning God to intervene in our situation, and thanking Him for the times He's already worked in our lives.  We also have another example of why we shouldn't worry.  Jesus talks about worry, and commands us to not do so, in Matthew 6:25-34.  Verse 34 reminds to not worry about tomorrow because it will take care of itself.  Jesus is telling us that He's working out the details for tomorrow, so we can just concentrate on today.  The previous verses are a perfect illustration of our lack of faith.  God takes care of the birds, who do nothing to plant or harvest their food, yet God still provides for them.  God created the lilies that grow in the grass and fields and they are beautiful!  Yet grass is something that gets cut and discarded on a regular basis, and still, God chose to decorate, or 'clothe' it with these breathtakingly beautiful flowers!  So if God takes care of the grass and birds, who are incapable of doing anything to increase His kingdom, why do we think He's not taking care of us?  Duh!!  This is the moment where I smack myself in the forehead and say, "I shoulda had a V-8!"  It's so clear.  In light of these verses, I've been feeling convicted because of my worrying tendencies, and I want to change.  I want to trust God!  But it's easy to say "I trust God."  It's a whole other story to live it.

Truth: When we worry, we limit God.  We might as well be saying, "God, I don't believe that you can handle this.  I don't believe you are who you say you are.  I don't believe that you are omniscient -- all powerful.  You must not love me.  And if You can't handle this, then I have to, and not only do I not know what to do, this situation is out of my control.  So now I NEED to worry about it."

That's UGLY, isn't it?  I might as well just end it with a, "thanks for nothing, God."  Not only is in incredibly disrespectful to a God we should be fearful of, it negates what Jesus stood for when He sacrificed Himself on the cross, because that was the MOST AMAZING act of love imaginable.  Yet isn't that what I've been doing almost unceasingly the past 2 weeks?  The truth is, I'm scared.  I can't see an end, or a positive resolution to my situation and that terrifies me, and makes me really, really sad. 

So what are some steps I can take to decrease, and eventually eliminate the worry in my life? 
  1. "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:4.  I listed this verse as the first step, because this is God's promise to you.  For me, at this moment, the desire of my heart is to cease worrying.  If I am truly desiring a change of heart, or to take a step of faith, and stop worrying, I'm going to need some supernatural help from above.  If I delight myself in Him (by following the steps below) then God promises to help me with what my heart desires. 
  2. Prayer --  The first verse I used at the beginning (Philippians 4:6) really needs to be memorized.  I think I'm going to print it out and post it in my bathroom and refrigerator and dashboard.  This way, when I pray, I can remind myself of God's commands and his promises.  I need to REMEMBER to pray every time I find myself starting to worry.  It will need to be a new habit. Prayer > Worry
  3. Reading the Bible --  By getting into God's word on a daily basis, we can look at scripture specifically related to our problems.  But let's be honest, the Bible can be intimidating as a whole.  Where do I look?  What's a concordance?  How does the verse apply to me if it talks about not worrying about food or clothing, and my worry is something else?  Every word of the Bible is God breathed, or God inspired, and is still just as relatable today as it was when it was written.  Sometimes we just need to pray that God will reveal what He wants us to get out of the scripture.
  4. Realize that you are not God.  It's not our job to know what God's going to do or how He's going to work things out.  It is our job to believe He can and is doing it.  And since I can't know, why should I worry about it?  Again, this is a habit you're going to have to get into. You'll need to remind yourself about it time and time again.  Also, if you haven't used the site Bible Gateway, I would highly recommend it. What's great about it is you can type in a topic and it will bring up verses relating to that topic. There are also many different translations of the Bible if you're like me and like to look at the wording in different versions. There are also references, devotionals and reading plans available at Bible Gateway. Check it out if you haven't already.
  5. Recognize and Rebuke the devil.  You need to be able to recognize what comes from God and what doesn't.  Being in the Word will help.  When you feel or believe something that contradicts what the Bible says, it's not from God.  You need to be on guard all the time so you don't believe the lies and attacks from satan.  Rebuking the devil is super powerful -- I have personal experience with it that I'd like to share. 
When I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I suffered from terrible morning sickness.  I had a 13 month old to take care of, and was really  tired, sick and discouraged.  I remember being in bed one day crying, and I felt like I couldn't deal with it anymore, and I thought to myself, "I just wish I wasn't pregnant anymore."  I was shocked that I could even think something that would bring harm to my child.  And that made mad!  This baby was loved, and wanted, and planned!  So I started praying, and I told God that He was going to have to give me the words because I was so defeated I didn't know what to say.  Immediately I was praying out loud with words that were not my own.  I said, "Satan, if the name of Jesus, I rebuke you and these thoughts.  They are not from God and He doesn't want me to think that way.  So you can just go back to Hell where you belong."  I felt such peace that I hadn't felt in a long time.  5 minutes later, I felt completely fine; I took care of my son, I made dinner; I felt like my normal self.  And I wasn't sick the rest of the pregnancy.  That was a miracle because I had faith that Got was in control and recognized the lies for what they were.  Rebuking satan lets him know you recognize his lies and won't believe them. 

It will take some hard work and reminding yourself of your goal.  But God is faithful to His promises.  He only wants the best for you, and worrying is not the best, and doesn't bring out the best in you.  I pray that God will be real in your life and show you the plans He has for you.  Plans for a future and hope....plans that don't include worrying.  God's got this one, ladies.  He really doesn't need our help...or our worries. 

Please feel free to share your experiences with worry, and how God is working in your life or how He's delivered you from worrying.

<3 Heather <3

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