Winning Over Worry
For several years a woman had been having trouble getting to sleep at night because she feared burglars. One night her husband heard a noise in the house, so he went downstairs to investigate. When he got there, he did find a burglar. “Good evening,” said the man of the house. “I am pleased to see you. Come upstairs and meet my wife. She has been waiting 10 years to meet you.”
The old English word for worry means “to choke” or “to strangle.” The definition is fitting when we realize that is exactly what worry does to us if we allow it.
Worry is pointless in that it doesn’t do one thing to change the situation. Worry is like sitting in a car and revving the engine. You burn a lot of fuel and produce a lot of smoke, but you don’t go anywhere. Worry is silly because if you have a problem that is small enough to fix, then you should just fix it; however, if the problem is too big to fix, then you can’t do anything about it, so turn the situation over to God. You can’t fix it anyway. Why worry about it ?
If you are not careful, worry will also keep you from fulfilling God’s plan for your life. You can become unproductive when you worry because you start looking through the eyes of fear instead of faith. Chuck Swindoll says, “Worry pulls tomorrow’s cloud over today’s sunshine.”
Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. It is amazing how little things become huge when we worry. I read somewhere that it only takes one cup of water to cover seven city blocks with a fog. This is what worry does. It clouds the good things with our smallest troubles.
Now, to handle worry, we need to learn to put God first in every situation. You see, worry is an indication that our priorities have become all mixed up, because most of the things we worry about are temporary. Matthew 6:33 says to “seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness and all these other things will be given to you as well.” When we start to worry we must realize that there is a big difference in the temporary and the eternal. God wants us to focus primarily on the eternal. God cares more about our focus on him than the name brand on our clothes or living on fine dining.
Furthermore, we need to live one day at a time. Jesus tells us to “not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Everyday has enough trouble on of its own ” (Matthew 6:34). So we should not worry about the future but successfully manage the present, because we often look at the future and become overwhelmed by the flood of coming problems. As sand goes though an hour glass, one grain at a time, we should simply take one problem at a time as it comes upon us each day. Every week there are two days we should not have to worry about: Yesterday and Tomorrow. We should just learn to take care of today’s problems as they come along.
I heard about a grandfather clock that had a nervous breakdown. Someone took it to the psychiatrist and the grandfather clock said, “ I have to tick-tock twice a second. That’s 120 times a minute, 172,800 times a day, over 62 million times a year ! I can’t handle this. I think I will crack up.” The psychiatrist said, “Just worry about one tick at a time.”
It really all comes down to trust. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “cast all your anxieties upon the Lord.” Philippians 4:6-7 says “ don’t worry about anything but pray about everything.” Worry and faith are opposites. When worry enters into the room of our life, faith runs out the back door. We must learn to trust God. Remember, if He created the stars in the sky, if He is the controller of the universe, and if He is real in our lives, then we should be able to trust Him in all things. I heard someone say that faith is refusing to panic. Why? God is in control.