"Worry about Nothing, PRAY about Everything!" I once heard a pastor say as he taught on the great truth found in:
Philippians 4:6&7 " Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, 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 minds in Christ Jesus!"
I mean that seems simple enough right? Just Worry about Nothing, pray about it! Well I don't know about you but when I heard first heard that about 17 years ago, although my life was in a much different place, Worry about Nothing and just Pray about it seemed to this worrier a BIG TASK and anything but simple! Back then Todd and I had only been married a few years and our worries consisted of what seemed like BIG financial struggles but in comparison to the struggles we would face in later years were anything but BIG. We wanted to have children and that wasn't going well (which was a really BIG deal) but we were still young so we thought we had lots of time. So really our worries seemed minor but in our own little world our worries can often seem like GIANTS just waiting to devour us no matter how big or small they really are. Did you know that 80% of everything we worry about never comes to fruition anyway?
SO fast forward to last night. I laid down at 10 to go to sleep and those close to me know one of the things that has been a fairly constant struggle since Todd's passing 3 years ago is the ability to sleep well. I lay down and my mind turns on and begins to replay the day, what I need to do and accomplish the next day oh and I can't forget to sign the permission slip for the field trip, oh and did I remember to lock my car? Then of course often times the worries of the day, week or month start to flood my mind. SO there I lay, tossing turning and you get the picture.
For those of you wondering has she tried, melatonin? YES! Has she drank sleepy time tea? YES! Has she had her hormones/thyroid checked? YES! Has she tried Ambien?YES!! I really have tried most everything included my latest, essential oils, Joy and Lavender. I actually had been in a great pattern of sleep the past week then that BIG Ugly Monster, WORRYbit me again last night and for some reason I tossed and turned until the wee hours of the night, UGH!!!
As I woke up this morning groggy from only a few hours of sleep I couldn't help but feel tired. It's definitely a 3 cup of coffee morning!! God is having me walk through some tough life stuff right now and I am weary emotionally and spiritually also to be completely honest!! SO what can I do as I face my day today? Well I am reminded that it is Friday and Spring Break begins today so that is definitely reason to CELEBRATE!! I also have a choice, I can think about all that is heavy on my heart and mind and let it stew in my mind and rob my joy OR I can PRAY and ask God to remind me of His Truth. So I chose to pray and God who is faithful and good reminded me of not one but two verses as I was praying; Philippians 4:6&7 but also of Jesus words in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my Peace I give you…"
The opposite of WORRY is PEACE. When we worry peace disappears! Today I chose PEACE which for believers is a calmness from God! Isn't that cool? Oh how I need a Big dose of the calmness of God today!
Like Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious or (WORRY) about anything but in everything (good and bad) PRAY and then the important part is to THANK God for what you are going through as you present your requests to Him. I know that part seems CRAZY especially if you've just lost a loved one, are having financial struggles, just suffered a painful break up, have a wayward child or CANCER has knocked on you doorstep. God has a plan and purpose even in those things!! SO then after you thank Him even when you don't understand what He is up to and why he is asking you to walk such a difficult road you and I MUST Substitute Prayer for Worry and then (my favorite part) is YOU WILL RECEIVE A PEACE THAT SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that part!!!
I can tell you after all my major struggles and tragedies, even the smaller things or less minor than tragic but still can be BIG like having enough money to pay bills, day-to-day decisions as a single parent raising my kids alone, health issues, the future etc… the key for me is that as I have changed my thinking and have applied these verses to my life I've noticed that the worry doesn't consume me any longer and even when I do begin to worry God gently and lovingly reminds me not worry He's got me, He has my kids and my life in His very capable hands and as I begin to pray (prayer is just having a conversation with God, like a friend) and transfer my worries to Him that hard to explain, supernatural PEACE truly does overwhelm me.
The praying isn't for God, it's for me. It helps me line my heart and mind with His heart and will. He desires for us to come and cast our cares on Him because he truly cares for us.
As I release my burdens, worries, cares no matter how big or small ( I sometimes even write them down in my journal or on a piece of paper acknowledging that I am laying those things down at God's feet) He is so able to take care of anything that concerns me today. Then as I pray it's as if a PEACE washes over me and I can hear Jesus saying, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to as the world gives. DO not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Perhaps you like me find yourself worrying about your life, your children, your relationships, your finances, your job, your health, your future and our world. May you and I find that PEACE which surpasses all understanding to guard our hearts and minds today as we substitute Prayer for Worry.
Because of His great PEACE I can Live For More,