A huge issue in my life is my inability to keep from worrying. If worrying translated into productivity, I’d have published my own novel by now.
There are a couple problems with this worrying thing:
- I mean, the Bible says not to. Quite clearly.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
It’s a commandment there, isn’t it. Somewhat difficult to argue with, wouldn’t you agree?
- Everything, and I mean everything, in my life has shown me that (a) God is in control and b) God is in control. Even when ~the worst~ occurs, (a) still applies. Even when you can’t imagine life going on, (b) is still in effect. How can one worry?
- My mom always tells me ‘Oh! I see you’re worrying! Giving Satan tea and cookies are we? Maybe some biscotti on the side?’ Barring the fact that this makes me miss my mom’s biscotti, it has the helpful image of me letting Satan in my head to mess with me, Screwtape-style. And I let Him!! My mom also asks me whether God has left the throne. No He hasn’t. Satan just wants us to lose faith – if God told us not to worry, it must make Satan’s day when we do! How abhorrent.
So how do you tackle the problem?
- Identify why you’re anxious. What’s the worst outcome of this occurring? Literally the worst? (For me this could involve going from being anxious on a test to fearing I’ll never work in my life. It’s a messy situation and it just devolves.) Now think, even if that occurs, is God still in control of your life? Even if it’s hugely embarrassing, does God not still have the best in mind for you? Even if it’s the end of your world, do you not still think God will hold you in the palm of His Hand? No matter how far your spiral of doom goes down, you’ll never be able to find a situation where you think ‘well, now this God couldn’t handle’. If you can then…we have a more pressing issue to be worrying about. 😉
- Now that we’ve established that God is always in control, it’s time to take up the sword against the ruler of darkness. How dare he come in and try to shake your faith in God? Does He not know that the Prince of Peace has already won the war? Decide who dwells in your head – is it God or Satan? Then kick Satan out! Stop giving him tea and cookies! And while you’re at it, maybe say sorry to God for even letting Satan in for a second. (Thankfully God is merciful and won’t hold it against you!)
- Get up. Get your butt off of your bed/couch/floor. and tackle the problem. Odds are you were anxious because of some impending disaster. So tackle it, don’t just avoid it!
- Finally, remember that this spirit does not come from the Lord. So ask Him to take it away and replace it! And He can, He is willing and waiting.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I hope you’re able to tackle this worry and be filled with power, love and clarity.
Well. It has been forever. A lot has happened since 2013. It feels like a lifetime. I’ve been to many different countries, moved 5 times, fallen down in my personal life, picked myself up and then fallen down again, with God eventually deciding that I’d been humbled enough.
What have I learned? Humility, humility, humility. Faith in the Word of God is the strongest power in the universe, but the law of humility is just a law. Graphically it goes like this: the amount of grace you receive in your life is directly proportionate to how humble you are. The more pride you have, the less grace will be over your life.
But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
This also ties in with the verse:
1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Think of it! We can humble ourselves so He doesn’t have to! The key thing to remember is that either way, it’ll happen. Either we can humble ourselves or God will humble us. Which way results in more grace? I’m guessing the former, as it takes a build up of pride for God to humble us. Whereas if we stay on the straight and narrow, we can remain humble and remain in grace.
Something relevant both to our spiritual life and our earthly life is internalising what we have learned.
I don’t know how many times I’ve read Jeremiah 29:11 (where God says he has plans to prosper us, to give us a future and a hope). There’s also Romans 8:28 (all things work together for the best for those who love God). Yet, as my mother asked me when I was freaking out about my career, as per usual, why do I often forget His promises? One long car ride later, I figured it out – it was similar to the answer I got on my last day of my legal internship. I had asked what I could do to improve my performance – how to improve my so-called ‘commercial awareness’, a phrase too over-used to have any meaning. The answer I received was: ‘Elizabeth, I can’t give you a list of what to do and what not to do. I can give you hints, point you in the right direction, and you could sit their and nod and take notes, but the only way you’ll internalise it is if you practice it – if you learn from your own mistakes, if you analyse where and when you went wrong to figure out how you could have done better. Then you’ll really improve.’ He was right of course. I learned to figure out what the client wanted not from the many presentations and talks the law school and firms will put on, but rather from actually interacting with the client.
Linking this back to our Walk: you only learn to internalise what God wants you to, you only learn to be a doer and not a hearer, through actually doing. And I realise this doesn’t sound like a breakthrough at all. However think about it – the meetings you have listened to, books that you’ve read, the articles you’ve highlighted, the Bible verses you have favorited, maybe printed around your room. Are they written on the walls of your heart? The only way this can happen is if in each circumstance we look to God’s Word and remember what we are to do – and if we fall, we ask forgiveness, and bounce right back up. We must learn to really push forward and implement what we have heard and read, asking for grace from He who will bestow generously.
Onward and upward to perfection.
The blog’s title comes from a John Green novel which despite its melodrama eloquently stated what I had been feeling for some amount of time. Hopefully in due course I will learn to connect my stars to form constellations.
“My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.”
~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
The tagline is part of my personal mission. As a student, a law student, a worrier, a perfectionist, and a dreamer, I find that I often forget my main purpose as outlined in the Bible itself:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”