Spiritual Housecleaning: Worry

Yuck! Another hard one! I often tease that "worry" is my middle name, but on the serious side, I wonder how much time and energy I've wasted because of worry. Worry takes a lot from us and gives nothing in return.

Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster and belief in defeat...worry is wasting today's time to clutter up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles. A dense fog that covers a seven-city-block area one hundred feet deep is composed of less than one glass of water divided into sixty thousand million drops. Not much is there but it can cripple an entire city. When I don't have anything to worry about, I begin to worry about that. - Walter Kelley

We've all heard the phrase "don't make a mountain out of a mole hill." That's exactly what worry does. It takes situations and magnifies them to the extreme. The bad part is that most of what we worry about it either stuff that never happens or things that we can't do anything about.

An average person's anxiety is focused on :
40% -- things that will never happen
30% -- things about the past that can't be changed
12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
 8% -- about real problems that will be faced

Ouch! That hurts, doesn't it? If you're like me, you cling to your worry like a nice fuzzy blanket. For some reason I feel that if I'm worried about something, I've taken the first step to solving the problem. How messed up is that thinking!!!! I'm not solving anything. I'm simply creating more problems and more stress. Who needs that?

Over and over again in the Bible, God tells us that we can bring our burdens, worries, and fears to Him. He offers us comfort and shelter. He offers to take our heavy loads. All we have to do is turn them over. Sounds simple, but it's not. . .at least, not for me. Some people seem to be really good at it. My husband is. I've asked him many times what his secret is. He tells me, "It's easy. You just let it all go. You don't think about it. You don't worry about it. You just hand it over to God and allow Him to handle the situation the way He sees fit." "But how?" I always respond. "How do I make myself stop thinking about the problem? It's all around me. How do I stop worrying about it? It seems to be all I can think about. How do I let it go?"

The Lord is still working with me on this process. Fortunately, He's a good teacher. Unfortunately, He likes to use a lot of "real life object lessons." Those are real eye-openers. Let me tell you!
The main thing I'm learning about worry is that I have to stop it before it starts. If I let myself start, I can't stop. I've found, however, if I turn the burden over to the Lord before it becomes a worry, I do much better. I'm not likely to win any medals, mind you, but I'm learning. Another thing I've noticed is the days that I spend more time with the Lord are the days I worry less. When I take the time to talk with Him and immerse myself in the comfort of His Word, I'm better able to fend off the worries that come throughout the day.

A woman who had lived long enough to have learned some important truths about life remarked, "I've had a lot of trouble -- most of which never happened!" Let's not be the same way. Let's turn our burdens over to the Lord and LEAVE THEM THERE!