“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”
Worry clouds our vision. It seems like we’re tense about a million things. But we may only be juggling a handful of plates. Or perhaps we’re really just obsessing about one.
Naming what we’re anxious about can be very helpful. Sit down with a pen and write them out one by one. Our worries feel endless but they’re actually limited and specific.
How do you feel worry? Learn to spot the signs. It might be feelings of panic, our body tensing up, literally grasping our throat, a vague restlessness or unease. It might be repetitive thoughts like replaying a scenario over and over in our mind, anger in the form of being easily irritated by those around us, a tension headache or going to our chosen remedy (scoffing chocolate, ice cream or reaching for a stiff drink).
It’s very helpful to be able to step back and say, “Aha, there’s a red light on the dashboard!”
This is digging a little deeper. There’s a logic behind our worry. Our worry can show that we’ve lost sight of God, that someone or something has edged him out of our hearts and hijacked his place.
What is it that you’re wanting, needing, craving, expecting or demanding? We worry when what we love is under threat. Is there something you fear losing or missing out on? 4.
Pick one passage to camp out in. Luke 12:22-34 is one great ‘go to’. In this passage Jesus lists at least seven reasons not to worry. Pick one of those reasons that resonates with you and make it your own.
For example, God is your Father. That’s something we can glaze over but it’s a life-altering reality. Especially in light of our worry. Our specific concerns make us feel like the furniture of our mind has been overturned. But dwelling on God as our Father can put things right way up. We live before the face of our tender Father who cares deeply for us and knows our worries.
Go to your Father and tell him what’s on your heart. He cares about what’s troubling us: your friends, your health, your money, your children…
Your Father knows what you need. Tell him what’s bothering you. Leave your worries with Him. Ask him for the grace you need for this day and leave tomorrow’s uncertainties with Him.
Created in June 2019 by Jeremy Ward with insights from David Powlison,‘What Good is Don’t Worry in Times Like These?’
Jeremy works as a Pastoral Counsellor at The Joshua Tree and Ashfield Presbyterian Church.