- increased heart rate
- muscle tension
- shortness of breath
- trembling and twitching
It serves no practical purpose. God Himself tells us that it is nothing but a colossal waste of time (DKV--Dan Kuiper Version). And yet we all do it. We all worry.
It is normal to have worrisome thoughts from time to time. We wonder how our bills will get paid, what the test results will be, how a conflict will get resolved. And many of us are able to ponder these things for a time, find a solution, then move on.
But some of us have made worry a lifestyle. It has become our constant companion. We live on the cliff of "what if?" And there is nothing about that which is beneficial to us. Constant worrying makes us tense. Preoccupied. Irritable. It shrouds us in a feeling of hopelessness. Worry has no redeeming qualities.
The word worry comes from an old English word meaning, "to choke or strangle." Worry suffocates our spirit. It suppresses our soul. That is not a position God wants to see us in.
So the question is this: If it is so bad for us, why do we worry? The answer is simple. We worry because of our pride.
We worry because we convince ourselves that we can control situations that are conclusively not in our control. We worry because we are unwilling to surrender our circumstances to the One who can actually do something about them. We worry because of a core belief that pretentiously tells us that the results are solely up to us.
Worry is nothing but a control issue.
And the first step in overcoming worry is recognizing what we can control and what we can't. The truth is, we can't always change our circumstances. But we can change what we think about them.
Look closely at these definitions of the word worry (emphases mine):
- "To allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles"--Oxford Dictionary
- "To torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts"--Dictionary.com
Worry does not come from without, it comes from within. Make no mistake about it. We choose to worry.
But overcoming worry is more than simply choosing not do what is bad. It is about choosing to do what is good.
God gives us the antidote to worry. It is to give Him control of our circumstances. It is to recognize that He can do what we can't. Our Heavenly Father tells us, as only a loving parent can, Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell (me) what you need, and thank (me) for all (I have) done. Then you will experience (my) peace, which exceeds anything (you) can understand. (My) peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Allow God to free you from worry's choke hold and fill your mind with His peace.