4 Steps to Stop Worrying

I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. I suppose I chose this verse today for myself as much as for anybody. Anxiety and worry, is more often than not, emotionally crippling, physically damaging, and spiritually deadening. I find myself slipping back in a worrying mode about so many things which I have no control over. Much too often, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is to put on a heavy backpack, which I’ve lugged around day after day, filled with “life issues” that I worry over. 

If like me, you happen to feel, on a regular basis, the heaviness of anxiety and worry or perhaps you simply wake up feeling restless and antsy about the future, you may want to try these four action steps to stop worrying…to lighten the load in that backpack.

4 Steps to Stop Worrying

1. FIGHT.  Don’t be idle with your worry. In other words, there is a way to fight worry and not to have it overwhelm your life. Too often we run from one worry to the next. We battle to keep plates loaded with worry spinning in a blur, yet the plates will always fall and break and before the day is over, we find ourselves totally wasted and defeated. We’ve been fighting the worry dragon all wrong. Fighting worry in our strength will slay us.

Essentially, when we worry we are saying we don’t believe that God is in control of our life. We forget how much our Heavenly Father loves us…that He will never abandon us. Fight against the urge to spin another plate by meditating on the promises of God. Instead of listening to your own voice, spinning thoughts inside your head, listen to God’s words instead. Fight for experiencing more grace. Make the choice to speak the gospel to yourself. Fight the urge to spin another plate with prayer instead…ask God to give you faith to trust him. It is worth the fight.

2. TRUST. To totally trust God is a choice. We fight the battle of unbelief with preaching the gospel of grace to ourselves and now we must choose to let go and trust God. Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” This verse doesn’t imply that we will never be afraid but it tells us what to do when we are fearful or when we are worrying. The psalmist says to take action when we are afraid…we are to put our trust in God. When we worry and stay afraid, we are not trusting God for the practical details in our life. “The surest way to find out if you can trust God? Is just trust Him. The free fall of faith is what makes you free.”  [1]   

3. SURRENDER. To surrender doesn’t mean defeat, quite the contrary, to surrender your worry over to God will give you power to live free. You know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. [2]Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7)

A surrendered life is also a life of constant repenting. Repenting that once again, plates filled with worry and fear are spinning…repent of idle thoughts that rob true joy and peace found in Christ. A surrendered life is a prayerful life…the action step of casting all your anxiety on him. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) That is another promise you can trust! 

4. SING.  To sing is the catalyst of worship. Singing forms the words of our prayers and petitions and even our muddled thoughts into beautiful poetry of worship. When worry is making life hard, then sing even louder. Singing songs of happy praise will ease the battle fatigue of spinning plates. Worry fades when the hum of grace-filled music floods your mind and emotions. Singing makes for a cheerful heart and there is no room for worry there.

It’s been a stressful and crazy few weeks around here and honestly, I’ve been spinning lots of plates piled high with worry. I’m so grateful for the encouragement gleaned from God’s promises and his daily dose of grace to fight the good fight, to totally trust him, to live a surrendered life, and to sing…to experience freedom.

[1] A Holy Experience | [2] Daily Hope with Rick Warren, Surrender: Let Go and Let God Work

The Flight of the Butterfly

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

In order to live, a butterfly must fight its way out of the cocoon on its own. It is only through this struggle that it gains the strength in its body to move its wings and fly.

Life is like a butterfly – You go through changes before you become something beautiful.

The following are photos of one particular butterfly I spotted while vacationing last year at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While the views of the beautiful resort are breathtaking in grandeur, I found myself captivated with following one particular butterfly gracefully move, carefree from one hanging pot of Impatiens to another.

So many hanging pots of flowers and so little time for a butterfly to taste the sweetness.

I wondered how long this beautiful fluttering of wings would last.

“You can only chase a butterfly for so long.”
― Jane Yolen, Prince Across the Water

Once upon a time, we had a Golden Retriever puppy. The cutest little puppy ever! Finding the right name for the newest member of our family was very important yet none of us could agree on the right name…until that day while in our backyard, our puppy began chasing a butterfly. The dog was running and jumping and zigging and zagging chasing the butterfly all about. That’s it! We had a name for our best friend to be. We named him, Chase.

I chuckled considering that I was running (not so much jumping) but definitely zigging and zagging to chase after this butterfly! Finally, it stopped for refreshment…I was ready for some, too.

Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies ~The Little Prince

This butterfly has certainly done its fair share of work! Flitting from one landing pad to the next, searching for the best nectar.

“…butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ” ~Jeffrey Glassberg

We should bask in the sunshine of God’s grace and goodness. We should notice God’s power through the tenacious strength of a butterfly. Count the moments you have each day to experience the Lord’s presence, to be strengthened by his grace. For the more your heart is strengthened by grace the more it will beat for God’s glory.

These photos are borrowed from my photo blog, Remember the Year, a scrapbook and journal of visual memories. I hope you will visit there soon. http://photolog365.wordpress.com