I am a worrier. I’ve always been this way.
I can remember being a child and remaining awake late into the night, snug in my bed – just worrying.
At times in the past, I’ve even mistaken worry as my friend – a constant, familiar companion. I’ve sought comfort in turning a thought over and over again in my head – the same way a thumb works a worry stone.
But as an adult I’ve come to see worry for what it is…
A joy thief.
No friend of mine.
As a parent charged with raising three little ones, an ocean of perils and matters over which to worry stretches before me, deep and wide. And at times, the tide threatens to pull me in. Worry laps at my toes, and I feel as if I’m in an often-present battle to avoid drowning. But I know that the maker of the sea doesn’t want me to worry. He tells me so in Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In this passage, the Apostle Paul commands the opposite of worry – he tells me to have peace. But he is not referring to a peace that I can muster by myself. No matter how many coping mechanisms I learn and no matter how many insightful devotionals I read, the peace spoken of here does not come from my own knowledge or efforts, for this is the very peace of God.
And how do I find this remarkable peace? How do I remain immovable and firm, resolutely avoiding not just the tide, but weathering even the force of a storm? How do I cling to the shore like a craggy rock that has been beaten for centuries but remains steadfast? How do I shun worry, and treat it not as a friend, but as the enemy it is?
By praying to God.
With a heart of thanks for the things that God has already done for me, I am commanded to make my requests known to God. Because he wants to help me. He wants to give me his amazing peace that is so complete that I’m unable to fully comprehend it.
So when I am fearful, and worry creeps in like a joy thief in the night, I pray to the Lord. I tell him my fears, hand him my worry, and thank him for sending Jesus to die on a cross for me. This is a pattern I will repeat for the rest of my life, because I can’t do it on my own.
Thank you, Father God, for Jesus. Thank you for saving me and for giving me your peace, which surpasses human understanding. Thank you for helping me see that worry is no friend of mine.
In Jesus’ name,