“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere”
Worry is a poison. It robs the joy, and of the ability to think – drowning and paralyzing a person in fear to the point of helplessness. It’s like an invisible snake that coils around a person’s mind, slowly but surely choking it. It’s no wonder that Merriam Webster had defined worry as:
To harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat
Everyone has their worries. Somewhere, right at this moment, a teenager worries whether his parents would make up or separate; a student whether he would have enough money to pay for his tuition fee; a parent whether his family would have enough to last another week; a wife whether his husband is doing well overseas. It’s natural, so as to speak. Worry, in its simplest form, is just another part of emotions that makes people human and vulnerable. There’s nothing wrong with worrying every now and then because it proves that you care, for a person or a situation, enough for you to think about it. However, the real danger is when it takes a life of its own and controls you more than you could hold it down.
This deadly form of worry is what I believe that God hates. Just having people skeptical and unbelieving of our word and capability is rather irritating, how much more it is for the Father in Heaven! Worry is an insult towards God because it shows doubt on His abilities and promises even after He had already declared that “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Rather than to come directly to God to ask for help, worry consumes the mind and feeds it with lies of failure and impossibility – something that God denied for His children.
Think about it. Worrying gives you something to do. Have you ever thought about how much time is wasted when you subject yourself to it? How much energy you lose in restless days and sleepless nights? God designed people to enjoy life – to breathe, laugh, play and live every moment to the fullest. But you cannot enjoy it if the mind is constantly ransacked with restlessness.
Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
What if you try to lure your mind away from worrying, and instead use your energy to pray? What if you channel all your restlessness towards the Lord and just leave everything to Him? God loves it when you talk to him, let alone have him know that you need Him. Let’s allow God to know our thoughts. He loves us so much that He longs to be close to us – for us to share our experiences and concerns with Him whether it is good or bad.
So pray. Leave your heart out towards the Lord, and pray for wisdom and guidance on how to make the right decisions so that what you worry would not come about. King Jehoshaphat, in his desperation and worry about Israel’s enemies coming to attack them, laid down his worries before the Lord, saying:
O dear God, won’t you take care of them? We’re helpless before this vandal horde ready to attack us. We don’t know what to do; we’re looking to you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12, MSG)
Look onto God! Don’t look at, or think about anything else. You’ve live your life up to this point so it serves as a proof that God is faithful towards you – not leaving you behind as you feared. And if God had been faithful in your past, surely He will also be in your present and future! The battle is not yours, but God’s so let Him be at the frontlines to fight for you.
Given all these, Paul had said and gladly shared to the church of the Philippians that God will take care of everything for us, in a way only God could do. And if you leave everything to God, peace will surely flood your hearts and everything will fall into place before you know it. Truly it is “Wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of our lives.”
So, get out of your rocking chair and pray!