I used to say that "I came from a long line of worriers." My grandma worried, my mom worried, my step-mom had what she used to call her "disaster tapes." I worried. I worried about money. I worried about having enough food. I worried about how to pay bills. I worried about getting new clothes for my kids. I worried about my kids. I worried about them getting sick or being hurt or people being mean to them. I worried about things that were "going to happen" next week or month or year. What if... How can I possibly... What will we do...
I would worry so much I had constant headaches, stomachaches that would send me to the couch to lay down until they subsided. I got cranky and spoke harsh words to those I was supposed to be protecting and teaching and loving. And I realized that all that worry...really got me nowhere except sick and tired. Worry didn't change the situation. Worry didn't make things better. Worry didn't solve problems.
Then I started to focus on trusting God...really truly trusting
Him. I started to look at the times in my life that He really came
through for me, for my family, for people I love. I started to remember
how, even when I was unfaithful, He was always faithful. He always had our back. He always came through.
So then, I began to hold on tight to these words:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry
about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what
you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than
clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If
that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and
tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you
of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:24-34
And also these:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
You see, when you can look back and see how the Lord has provided, how can you question that He will take care of you? When you can look back and see that the Lord has made a way, when there seemed no possible way, how can you question that He will not leave your side?
Little by little, as I put all my cares in His strong and capable hands...I began to feel a peace. A peace I couldn't explain when stress came my way. I began to be able to push the anxiety away, stop the worry, and tell myself that God would, indeed, make things - yes even stressful things - work out for good. I began to see that certain events, though stressful or frightening at the time, often led to new open doors or opportunities for me to serve others who were going through similar circumstances.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7
And yes...even joy.
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:17
Trust Him. Let the worry go. Let Him be in control. And pretty soon, you will find that your heart is filled with joy...a joy that's unspeakable...a joy that's overflowing...a joy found in His presence.