Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
I woke early yesterday morning, the dawn of a new day, feeling anxious over my day. You see I had unintentionally filled it full with too many things to do. Shopping, delivering clothing, laundry, Christmas cards, finishing a wedding photo album, serving at church, and then going to watch my husband play tennis. I get anxious just reading those words. You think I would look back on my previous posts and remember God’s wisdom in not packing my day so full. But, feeling like superwoman, I figured I could “accomplish” all these tasks in one day. Well, all I ended up doing is waking up sick to my stomach, filled with anxiety over the day. Not exactly the way God intended. Not a joyful way to begin the day.
Then God brought to mind the above scripture. We are called to pray over our anxieties, lift them up to God. In my case, to pray over my “to do” list and see what God would have me leave for another day. What can wait for another day? Really all of it could be left for another day, but the clothing delivery. (OK, maybe I should do the laundry as well) After a little refection and prayer, God did show me what to leave behind yesterday and where to focus my mind. To be available to his plan for my day. What a relief to release and not be bound by the list. A sense of peace filled me.
That prayer began a time of reflection on how God provides for us each and every day. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of his provisions. I tend to be a worrier. Less so now than 10 years ago, but sometimes those old tendencies tend to rear their ugly heads again. Worry never got me anywhere or produced anything but sleepless nights. My worry never changed the outcome of any event or task in my life. Worry only drew me away from recognizing Gods provisions. I learned quickly 10 years ago that worrying wouldn’t cure my cancer, worry wouldn’t heal my mom, and worry wouldn’t help in raising a family. What would help is prayer. Prayer to my Lord who is always upholding me in his mighty hand. (Isaiah 41:10) Praise God for that, because on my own I would fall flat on my face.
God speaks in scripture about worry. In fact Matthew 6:25-34 is a whole discourse on worry. Take a moment to read it. God speaks about his care for the birds. Birds don’t store up their food, gathering it to bring to a storehouse, nope they just fly about in their migration patterns trusting there will be food there when they arrive. God provides the food they need. God says you and I are more valuable to him than the birds (Luke 12:24). He says worry doesn’t add a single hour to our day. So true! God takes care of the sun each and every day, it always comes up in the morning and sets in the evening, 24 hours in a day, his perfect plan, his perfect timing. I wish it were easy to stop the worry when it starts, but I know for many, including me at times, it is not so easy.
I pray my worries over to God, but to truly lay them aside takes a little more for me. I can pray about them all I want but I have a tendency to pick them back up again and lug them around. Not a good idea, those worries weigh me down. Did you know Jesus gives us a key to putting worry in it’s place, a tool? He states it right in the bible…”But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”(Matthew 6:33)
When I turn my mind to His kingdom, His goodness, I am able to stop focusing on me. I make room for the Holy Spirit to work within me so my perspective is changed. Hmmm. I can begin to see my life with a little more clarity, I am His and He is mine. He cares for me and will provide for me in just the way that is tailor made for me. I see my “worries” with a fresh eye and I am filled with peace.
I know you have worries as well. Release your worries to God in prayer. Then I challenge you go one step further. Will you choose to focus on His kingdom and goodness? Look back at his faithfulness in your life, trust him to provide for you today. I pray you will turn your face to him and feel his radiance shinning upon you today.