So a few weeks back I anticipated a FULL weekend. One in which every single activity needed to run as smoothly as possible so I would be able to make it to the one after it. I anticipated this weekend (Read: Dreaded) for several months: I knew there was going to be a lot and so I sought to make sure everything was all in place, in a neat and organized way, so that everyone and everything could be managed well.
I tried to anticipate every possible contingency, every possible opportunity for things to go wrong. Along the way several changes were made due to the preferences and choices of others involved, and so the process of figuring out all possible opportunities for things to go wrong and contingency plans began anew. By the time the actual weekend came I was exhausted!
Have you ever done something like that? Worked so hard to make sure everything went smoothly that by the time you got to the event you were too tired to either actually enjoy it or live fully in the present moment of it?
This process of worrying over the plans of our futures is one sure-fire way to create chaos in our lives. Worry, the reaction most of us have to things we can’t control or see clearly, is something that causes more stress than any good we think it might deliver. Trust me. Worry never leads anywhere we hope it will.
We have a choice. We can choose to live our lives in a state of worry; trying our best to make sure we figure out how to best manage it all in our own strength and understanding.
Or, we can choose to develop a complete trust in the plan of God, no matter what we are facing.
Which option do you think will calm your chaos and bring you peace?
Paul, in his letter to the Philippians says it like this:
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. (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
We can live a daily life characterized by a complete trust in the plan of God, thereby defeating the negative consequences of worry in our lives.
Here are my top 4 ways to defeat the power of worry in our lives:
Make a choice not to worry. We will never be able to eliminate worries and fears, but we can choose not to entertain them. When a worry comes, we do have a choice to not listen to it.
Tell God what you need. Worries come because we are unsure. We may not know how to react to a particular situation, or how to handle it, or what to do as a result of something that has happened to us or someone we love. Instead of trying to figure it out, Paul tells us to tell God what we need, allowing Him to figure it out for us.
Thank God for the situation. James chapter 1 reminds us that there will be trials in our lives. When we worry, these trials feel like punishments. When we instead see them as opportunities to choose to trust God and thank Him for the opportunity to be drawn deeper into relationship through trusting Him, we can find a way to be grateful.
Pay Attention. Peace is not the absence of chaos, but is characterized by a complete trust in the plan of God, regardless of how overwhelming the circumstances may be. When we choose to trust in that plan, over our own ideas of what we think should or might happen, there is a calm that settles over us. Too often we miss it though because we are off and running towards something else. Stop. Paul says this peace guards our hearts and minds, but if we’re not looking for it we will miss it.
Jesus tells us himself that there will be trouble in this life. No amount of worry, planning, or figuring out will prevent it. That weekend I spent several months worrying over? Well, by the time it was over it nowhere near resembled the original weekend I thought was coming my way That’s right, all that worry was for nothing. Imagine how much energy I could have saved and used instead to enjoy myself and those around me, had I chosen to trust in God’s plan over my own.
Imagine how much energy you can have in your daily life, no matter what you are facing, when you choose to trust that God has a plan, that he will execute that plan, and that, ultimately, His plans are for your good.
Trust, my friend, is how to defeat the power of worry in your life.
May I pray for you?
Father God, please help us to trust you today. The worries we are facing are huge and scary and overwhelming. Rescue us from the swirling thoughts seeped in fear of the unknown. Today we choose to trust You. We chose to take our worries to you in prayer and tell you want we j=need, thank you in the process for all you have done and for the opportunity to grown closer to you. May the peace you offer begin now to permeate our anxious hearts and flood us with calm in the midst of the storms we are facing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Join the Conversation: What is one worry you can choose to turn into a prayer to God today?