I come from a long line of worry warts. When I leave the house I worry that I left my curling iron on and hope to God I don’t come home to a burnt down house. When I set my alarm, I check it at least three times to make sure it is definitely set to wake me up on time. When I met my husband, I worried I was making the wrong choice. When I go out to eat I worry I will choose the wrong meal. When I write a meaningful post that expresses my belief I worry someone will misunderstand my intentions. I worry for my friends. I worry for my family. I worry I have offended God in my actions at times. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and wonder why I am so sore. And all along the Lord is asking me to lay my worries down.
I have learned that God has a primary purpose for our lives and it is that we learn to trust Him. The truth of the matter is that we can not control our life circumstances by worrying. Our anxieties are always over the things we care about most which are the very things that God requires us to give to Him. If we worry for our health, He beckons us to give our health to Him. If we worry for our children, He calls us to lay their lives in His hands. If we worry for our relationships, He asks that we give those to Him fully. If we stress over finances, He requires us to give our finances to Him. The truth is that the things we worry about most are the things that we idolize most. Sometimes worry itself can become our idol and God wants to set us free from idolatry. But how do we lay down our idols?
First and foremost, we make a choice. It is not easy, but it is simple. We decide that God is bigger than our idols and our cares. We choose freedom over the shackles of too much concern. We lay it down at the foot of the cross and we pray to God that we won’t pick it back up again. But we will pick it back up again because it is in our nature to do so. We are born to trust ourselves. So, when we pick it back up again, we lay it back down again and we pray this time will be different. We accept grace and let go of control. We repeat this process until one fine day we find ourselves free of whatever idol has been keeping us as slaves. His grace is sufficient for us despite our viscous cycles of failure.
Just because we struggle to let go of our cares in this world, our sin, and our self-reliance, doesn’t mean God is small and unable to move mountains on our behalf. If we show Him just a little bit of faithfulness, He will step in and show us an unbelievable amount of faithfulness. When we fall to our knees and bow our hearts in submission to our King, He is captivated by our effort and His passionate love for us will erupt like a volcano – overflowing goodness into our hearts and lives.
He patiently waits for us to take just one step towards Him, so He in turn can take 100 steps towards us. Some have applied this concept to money by teaching that if we give God $1, He will give us back $100. While this may be true sometimes, it can easily become a perversion of the love relationship one can have with their creator. God will not be manipulated. He sees the heart. If we give to get, then we are still demanding to be in control; but if we give for the sake of love, watch out because God will storm in on our behalf, take control of our dire situations, and turn our desperation into peace and hope that passes all earthly understanding.
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I like how the Amplified Bible says, “Stop being perpetually uneasy.”
Matthew 6:25-34 Amplified Bible (AMP) “Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?”
Thanks for sharing. I really like that version! 🙂
I really needed this. God knew I needed this, I have an anxiety “disorder”. Thank you.
Julie – I too struggle with anxiety, so I understand. I am so glad that God is comforting your heart! 🙂