Sad to say, but worry has become a national epidemic!
In fact, since the early 1960’s the US government has been tracking something they call the “Misery Index”. It tracks various economic factors combined with the unemployment rate – and with ever-mounting concerns here in the US that index has been steadily rising in 2013!
On a more personal level, a recent article I read captures the thoughts of many Americans as we walk through our everyday lives:
What if there’s no more oil? What if my wife leaves me? Will there be more terrorist attacks? My cholesterol is too high. How am I going to pay the mortgage this month? Have I wasted my life? What if I have to declare bankruptcy?
And the list goes on…
Although our worries seem real and ever-present, statistics tell us:
40% of what we worry about never happens.
30% of what we worry about already happened.
12% of what we worry about is unfounded criticism from others
10% of what we worry about is needless worry over our health
8% of what we worry about are actual problems we can do something about!
92% of what we worry about is needless.
And worrying about the 8% doesn’t help the situation one bit!
Let me try to help!
As I was doing my research on how to stop worrying, I found a laundry list of suggestions a mile long. It was everything from taking herbs to relaxation techniques – from listening to CD’s to mustering the courage to face your worries head-on.
Well…perhaps those things can bring some temporary relief. But I haven’t found them effective in providing any long-term change in the thinking patterns needed to genuinely be set free from the curse of worry.
I learned this hard lesson during a very difficult season of my life. A time when worry had become my constant companion. And I have to tell you, it was especially bad in the dark of night when I would wake, and yet again, begin the relentless pattern of worry over my beloved prodigal son.
It was in those dark hours that I found my answer. It was a gift from The Lord as He called me to memorize this one simple – yet profound – Scripture:
Philippians 4:6–7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to the Lord. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
Still to this day, I rely on this Scripture and it is forever hidden in my heart. Yet, it wasn’t until I turned to him in those dark nights of fear and worry that God taught me the power of these precious Words!
Over the years I have learned to simply pray the promise of this scripture back to The Lord. To claim the promise of His peace that passes all understanding! And when I do – I instantly know He is with me – that I can trust Him – that all I have to do with my (usually needless) worry is to continue abiding in PRAYER!!!
Want to worry less?
God’s solution is simple: Pray more!!!
No magic formula or strategy- just the power of God and his Word.
The power of praying with thanksgiving and great expectancy.
I promise – it works!!!
And yes…there is a grateful PS…
Dec 28, 2013 marks 5 years of sobriety for my son – and a full reliance on Jesus as his higher power. Only prayer – NOT worry – can make that happen!!! Hallelujah and Thank you Jesus!!!