By Darlene G. Snyder (find me on facebook)
It seems with the economy the way it is and our world in a topsy turvy everywhere we look, many Christians have become worriers instead of warriors.
I know first hand what worry and stress can do to a person. My husband allowed the stresses and worries of his job to cause him physical illness. It began with colitis, moved on to ulcerative colitis, which eventually destroyed his colon. He underwent an intense surgical procedure, spent about forty-five days in the hospital the year the doctors totally removed his colon. He now faces a whole array of medical problems. Stress and worry caused the initial attack of colitis.
I’ve battled the worry issue for years. The worst was when my son became a licensed driver. Allowing him to drive away alone in a car without my protection about sent me over the edge. If he came home late, I was spastic until I heard him come in the door. I know personally that a person can survive on very little sleep, because my eyes never closed until he was safe in his bed.
With age comes a little wisdom. I’ve learned a few things about worry and how to handle what life throws at me a little better. I’ll share with you what I’ve learned, then maybe, I’ll print a copy and post it somewhere as a reminder.
- We must first realize that no amount of worry will make the situation better.
- When we are besieged with anxiety, we should release it to God and trust Him.
- Find something to do in place of fretting. The cleanest my house ever gets is when I have a worry issue. Recently while my grown son was in the emergency room being diagnosed with pneumonia, I babysat my grandson, made homemade chicken soup, cleaned the kitchen and went to the grocery to avoid worrying and over reacting.
- Talk to yourself. I know this advice sounds crazy, but try it anyway. Tell yourself that there’s no need to worry, that everything will turn out alright. Talk yourself down out of that worry tree.
- Talk it out with a friend. Sometimes we need people in our lives to listen to us and to offer words of encouragement. Many times when I’ve had issues bearing down upon me and I couldn’t find hope in the situation. I’m thankful for friends who listened and gently guided me out of my anxiety.
- Search the Bible for comfort. Look for verses that will speak to your particular circumstance. Read through devotionals and other books for encouraging words.
- Avoid the what ifs. Just don’t go there. What ifs aren’t usually realistic and only serves to stress us further.
- Pray. There’s a slogan that says When all else fails, pray. I say Pray before all else fails. Place Prayer at the top of the list and spend time with God. He’s there to listen and offer comfort if we allow Him to do so. If you do this one thing, there may be no need for all the rest of the tips.
I have an Internet friend (http://divacelebration.ning.com/profile/JeanAnnDuckworth) who once told me that when she has problems or concerns she imagines the worry being placed in a box, wrapped tightly and presented to God as a gift. She sees Him opening the gift and saying, “Thanks, this is just what I wanted.” I think that is such a beautiful picture of what God wants us to do with our worries and anxieties.
If you are fretting and worrying over something, maybe you should try wrapping it up and offering it as a gift to God.