Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7
I tend to worry.
In those moments of worrying, it’s not like I am intentionally telling God that I don’t trust Him or that I think I can handle things on my own, because He and I both know that I can’t.
Still… this is the message my worry sends to God.
Worry says, “I don’t think You can handle this.”
Worry screams, “I HAVE TRUST ISSUES!!!”
Worry whispers, “I am all alone in this.”
Worry lies, “There is no hope.”
Worry (verb): to give way to anxiety or unease; to allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
When we worry, it is a choice.
Ouch… yeah, that even stings a little for me. This means that when I worry, I am willingly taking my issues out of God’s capable hands and holding onto them for myself. I am choosing to give way to my anxiety, letting it take over. I am choosing to allow myself to dwell needlessly on something or someone.
When I worry, I become a mess. I cry. I shake. I crave endless amounts of chocolate. Sometimes I have panic attacks.
To worry is to choose these things.
I know. I get it. Who would choose to be so miserable over trivial (or worse) things?
But you did. And I did, too.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
– 1 Peter 5:7
The Bible tells us to cast our cares, our worries, our troubles, our anxieties on God. He is able to handle anything we could ever throw at Him, be it fear or even anger. Even if your anger is directed at God? He can take it.
In fact, He wants to.
O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen
on your walls;
they will pray day and night,
Take no rest, all you who pray to the
Give the LORD no rest until he
completes his work,
until he makes Jerusalem the pride of
– Isaiah 62:6-7
Yep! He wants to hear from you, no matter how you may be feeling towards Him personally. He wants to hear your voice. He knows your struggles and He knows your heart, yes. But isn’t it so much more satisfying and meaningful to hear the words, “I love you,” from your significant other rather than just assuming or knowing they somehow feel this way? It’s the same with God. Sure, He already knows. But it means so much more for you to open up to Him and tell Him what’s bothering you so that He can fix it. The relationship between us and Him is a two-way street, and when we are silent…. well, the relationship doesn’t exactly develop. He talks to us all the time, but most of us are too distracted to even notice.
God even appointed people to pray– that’s how much he longs for us to communicate with Him! “Give me no rest,” in other words, “BOTHER ME! DON’T STOP BUGGING ME! Don’t stop talking to me! Don’t stop petitioning me! Give me no rest until I answer you.” – GOD
He longs to hear from you, sweet friend. He knows what is on your heart and He wants you to trust Him enough to whisper to Him in the dead of night when sleep evades you. He knows what you are going through and He yearns for you to lean into Him as the tears fall from your weary eyes. His arms are ready to carry you to a safe place where all your troubles are heard and cared about. He is the best listener. He won’t tell you that you’re stupid for feeling how you feel. He won’t reject you because of your struggle. He won’t alienate you because of that secret sin issue that hardly anyone else knows about.
He is here. He always has been. He wants to hear from you. Before you post your struggle to Facebook, before you tell Twitter and Instagram. He longs to take care of your burdens for you- only He can truly take them away.
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
– Matthew 6:27;30;34
Worrying hurts. It hurts us far more than whom or whatever we happen to be worrying about.
Those people that hurt you? They aren’t the ones sitting up late at night dwelling on your pain. The person who denied you the loan? He isn’t worried about where your next meal will come from. Your high school crush? They aren’t dwelling on each word they said to you at lunch today, and they certainly aren’t preparing themselves for what they will say tomorrow.
Everyone you are worried about is not focused on the fact that you are worried, and most of them aren’t concerned with your pain. It is far from their minds. Dwelling on every possible detail of what went wrong and what you could have done will not help the situation. Dwelling on “what if”s and “could be”s are just as toxic.
Worrying hurts… it hurts you. Not them. You.
Why worry? Why willingly put yourself through even more suffering?
It’s not because you “can’t help it”, because as we discovered earlier, worrying is a choice.
Do we worry because it’s a semblance of control? Do we think that if we have a say on what we choose to worry about, it will somehow remedy the hurt we feel?
Why DO we worry?
It boils down to a lack of faith. A lack of faith and a lack of trust in the One who holds your tomorrows. The One who knows the exact amount of hair on your head- including the ones that have fallen out recently. The One who knows how many tears you have cried, how many miles you have walked without the help of a Fitbit and how many sleepless nights you’ve spent staring up at the ceiling.
Choosing to worry is telling God that He is incapable of understanding you. The Creator of the Universe and the very same Creator of YOU. Worry tells Him that you don’t think He gets it. Worry tells Him that you don’t trust Him to know you inside and out, or to even understand how to fix the problem you’re having.
Choosing to worry is telling God that you don’t believe. You don’t believe that He can sort things out; you don’t trust that He has things under control. In fact, you think He couldn’t care less about you or the problems you’re dealing with.
Choosing to worry is choosing to stiff-arm God. You are saying, “Whoa there, God! I have got this- You stay out of it!”
I don’t know about you, but that image right there makes me uncomfortable. I certainly never intended to do that to God! I would never say that to His face, much less ever think it. But… when I worry? That’s exactly what I’m doing. When I go to social media and complain about my issues rather than go to Him, that’s what I’m doing. When I choose to wallow in self-pity rather than ask Him for help, I am rejecting God. I am casting Him aside. I am spitting in the face of the One who loved me enough to die for me.
Have you spat in God’s face lately? Have you been dwelling on something for weeks on end without asking Him for help? Have you avoided His Word because you know deep down that He will speak Truth you need to hear but desperately want to ignore?
Do you want to change? Or do you want to hold on to these worries, these fears, these grudges and other things, just so you can have something- anything- to “control”?
Sweet friend, I am in the boat with you. The waves are rocking, the sky is terrifyingly dark, and I am just as scared as you. But God has not forgotten us! He is walking towards us in the midst of our storm. Here’s the thing…
Do you let your faith falter during the storm?
Or will you cry out in faith rather than in fear?
Will you let Him climb into your mess with you?
Satan will feed on your pain and he is currently thriving on the doubts, worries and fears that you have been having. In this world, we will have trouble. We are guaranteed that fact:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
– John 16:33
This trouble can be emotional, mental, physical, environmental, relational… and it will happen. We can see it all around us- the shootings, the mass hysteria, the beatings, the murders- we are in the midst of a mighty storm filled with terror and pain. But take heart! Take courage! Be stilled by His peace! He has the victory. In Him, you are already victorious. He has overcome the world.
Don’t let the enemy make you feel defeated in whatever storm you might be facing right now. If you feel the urge to talk to someone about your pain, please do so! It helps to go to a trusted friend or family member about what you’re going through. But don’t forget about God. You were never meant to carry these worries beyond the cross. Whatever it is, especially if it’s an insecurity or something bubbling up from your past? It’s covered. Jesus already paid for that. And don’t think for one second that He wouldn’t do it again.
Open up to Him about your struggle and be willing to actually let go of it this time. Whenever you feel the urge to take those worries and doubts back, pray. Even if you’re in your car, turn off the radio (GASP) and talk to God. You don’t have to close your eyes to talk to Him. Even if you’re walking down the hallway at work, you can pray without outwardly saying a word. That’s what Paul meant when he talked about “praying without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians. 5:16-18). It doesn’t mean literally 24/7 eyes closed and meditating. It means that whenever you feel yourself struggling, immediately telling Papa God about it. Prayer is our instant line to God. He speaks to us through the Bible, through music and even through other people, and we speak to Him through prayer. It’s meant to be a two-way conversation.
Worrying will not help your situation, friend. Nor will it help mine. It’s a hard lesson to learn, because it seems like all I can do in a tough spot is worry. This is why God’s grace is so wonderful- He understands us so well that He knows we are going to struggle. He knew we would fail miserably at this whole praying and not-worrying thing. And that’s okay. The important thing is to keep striving to do better. To admit when we mess up and keep going.
Take a moment right now to thank God for being here with you through your struggle, even when you didn’t realize it. Then, take your struggles to Him. Tell Him everything on your heart, even if it’s painful to admit out loud. If it helps you, write it all down. This is why I prayer journal- I write down most of my prayers. This helps me not only stay awake (because we have ALL fallen asleep while praying) but it helps me focus. I can look back and see where He answered prayers… and that’s one of the neatest things. I encourage you to give it a try!
♥ You are not alone in your struggles. Feel free to reach out about what you’re going through! We cannot do life alone. ♥