For years, intense worry plagued me. It manifested itself in a recognizable pattern. Something would happen, or someone would say something, or I would see or read about some tragedy or disaster, then I would play out every “what if” scenario in my mind.
What if this happened to me? What if something happens to my spouse or my kids? Where is God?
Then, I turned to others, discussing options, what might happen, what might NOT happen. Talking the issue to death. I felt little need to bring the matter before God and truly seek His face and wait on Him. I had already worked the issue out with my girlfriends.
Once God shed light onto this sin, He gave me the strength and desire to change. I pledged to no longer discuss worrisome issues with friends until AFTER I discussed them with Him. And I made a choice – a choice to take God at His Word.
“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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:6-8).”
The truth is, I live in a fallen world where tragedies happen, and God never promised to shield His children from them all. People get hurt, taken advantage of, and abused. A number of things could enter my life that would be more than I can handle. But it is never more than God can handle.
It has been years since my last wrestling match with fear, a sweet victory that I attribute to the Lord. I took Philippians 4 to heart and brought my concerns to Him. Then, I cut out everything that encouraged me to dwell on images or words that pushed my imagination into overdrive, including the evening news and reading the newspaper. The peace of God which transcends all understanding flooded my life.
2 Corinthians 10:5 “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”