DID YOU KNOW? You Don’t Have to Worry.
Read: Philippians 4
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).
My little sister called and in a muffled voice said, “I have kidney stones.” At the time, she was 20 years old and living in Spain on her own without anyone to care for her. As I hung up the phone, knowing I was leaving her alone in her pain, I was suddenly filled with worry and fear. What if she couldn’t get to the hospital? What if the doctors there didn’t have the right medicine? What if she doesn’t get help soon enough? What if…
Then the Holy Spirit crashed my “worry party,” reminding me of the verse in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God…” In that moment, God was challenging me with one question: “Do you really trust me Ali?”
I thought I did. But given my anxious state, I was brought to my knees, asking for forgiveness. I realized that allowing anxiety to overrule, was just another way of saying, “God, I don’t really believe you can handle this situation.”
Is it possible to live a worry-free life? I once heard someone say it was “irresponsible” not to worry about our loved ones. But I don’t recall any instance in which Jesus was steeped in anxiety. Concerned, sure. Compassionate, absolutely. But when the storms were raging on the seas and the disciples were worried sick, Jesus was asleep! That to me says Jesus didn’t let His surroundings dictate or steal His peace. He had complete trust that our Father in heaven was in control.
God knows the destructive power of anxiety. That’s why we’re instructed so many times in the Bible, “Do not be anxious about anything…” It can consume us, swallow us up, destroy our quality of life. This keeps us from being able to hear God and living out fully what He calls us to do. It crowds out the space in our hearts and minds that God reserved for the fruits of His Spirit. He wants us to be “…filled with all joy and peace” as we trust in Him (Romans 15 :13), not anxiety and fear.
As I gave my little sister and her sickness over to God, “by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving,” I realized it was possible to live in His peace, even in a worrisome situation. He desires nothing more than for us to surrender our control, allowing Him to carry our cares, worries and concerns for us. But it’s up to us to let Him.
Dear Lord, I am sorry for letting fear and worry consume me. Please help me to deal with any anxiety by giving it over to You, trusting that You are the healer, comforter, and ultimate problem solver in all situations. Thank you that as I put my trust in You, you will guard my heart and mind with Your peace. Amen.
*Take-away Treasure: What are you tempted to worry about today? How can you give it over to God?