Have you experienced worry this week?
It’s safe to assume that a newspaper, friend, family member, or job situation has given you good cause. We all worry at times. We worry because we care deeply.
We were made to be creative people who can solve problems. Unfortunately, there are many things we cannot fix. We feel incredibly small in the face of the bigger challenges of our lives.
When we aren’t sure what to do, we think. Then we try to stop thinking so we can sleep or rest or accomplish something meaningful.
How successful have you been at stopping thoughts with sheer will power? I am 0 for 1 million attempts.
We might as well try to stop the sun from rising. Those thoughts will dig in deep and sprout wildly in all directions.
But I have learned a simple approach that has brought me relief. It comes from Matthew 6. In this passage we are instructed to not be anxious, but we are also given a recipe for moving out of anxious places.
We are told to look up at the birds of the air because God is taking care of them. We are told to consider the lilies in the fields because God provides for all their needs. He is the Fixer for all of Creation.
He is telling us to not look upon our problems and the things we cannot do. Instead, we are to look to Him and the things that He can. See what He’s already done. See how He moves intentionally throughout His world. See the order of His creation when our lives feel disordered.
Instead of trying to stop the worried thoughts, we can reflect on the good we see around us.
What is your life’s equivalent of “birds of the air” and “lilies of the field?” Maybe today you can look upon the walls of your home and consider how safe they make you feel. Maybe you can look up to a sunny day that allows you to take a refreshing walk. Maybe you can observe a good friendship in your life that encourages you.
When worries creep in and try to take over your thought life, stop and consider what God has done and continues to do, and allow the worrying to subside in the presence of His goodness and truth.