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Philippians 4:6, 7
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. [the MSG]
Worrying is like an illness that frequently occurs with changes in season. For some, it’s like one facet of the emotion that naturally comes out involuntarily. It just masks our faces with grumbles and protests when something we don’t want happens, especially if it’s about those things that we’re most passionate about. Worry always challenges optimism and may cause long and /or short term effects in every aspect of our life.
Worrying is harmful. Most of the times, it manifests outward through the way we look, talk, respond and act. It is a strong emotion that can even influence our senses and on how we decide.
My second day of 2014 had so many things that have caused me to worry. I woke up in the morning already worrying what to cook for breakfast. I worried that I might not be able to prepare the right food that the people at the house want. I worried that my almost 2 year old daughter will not eat again her food that I will prepare. I worried because she ate little food. I worried because she didn’t want to take her medicine like she used to. I had to bind her with towel to calm her body so I could let her take what’s in the spoon. I worried that her yaya will not be able to come today as she told before she left for a long Christmas and New Year vacation. I worried because her yaya texted that she won’t be able to come back for work because she wants to have a rest from working. I worried that we won’t be able to immediately find a replacement for her. I worried that I won’t be able to do the paint job and other house projects that I’m supposed to do before the holiday ends. All these and other little things such as the missing garbage bin outside, emails I have to send and read and my wrist watch that needs repair or replacement if worse, bothered me before mid noon.
The list goes on. As long as we breathe, life will be filled with things to worry. Besides the daily stuff in life, the future as well may contribute the largest percentage of the total reasons to worry.
I was contemplating about these during my brief moment of rest after lunch. I had a slight headache. I decided to open a page of my past devotional notes and was surprised to read Philippians 4:6-7 in The MSG version.
Worrying is opposite of what God wants us to do. We must not worry – or even slightly worry, or even worry for quite sometime. God desires for us to have peace of the highest kind. It’s a peace that cannot be given by anything nor anyone else but from God alone. This peace which I cannot explain but can only experience will guard our heart and mind. It will protect us from getting anxious and fearful of what tomorrow might bring. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you (NLT)”. There are, however, two clear responses that God wants us to do instead – Pray and thank Him. First, when we commit and entrust everything to God, our focus shifts from the negative realities to the positive truth of God’s perfect will. We often worry about the unpleasantness of the things that we see at the moment, and as we go on with it, we sometimes get depressed and feel hopeless. It’s when we make a decision to look at God and let Him be in control, that we can only experience rest and tranquility.
Secondly, thanking God in everything allows us to experience that peace. I remember a preacher who once said that – “When we are thankful regardless of whatever situation, nothing can stop us from achieving our dreams.” We can never conquer something that we worry about, but we can overcome if we accept it positively with a steadfast mind, therefore allowing us to focus and give instead everything we’ve got, to do the things we ought to do.
My day ended with prayer and thanksgiving to God, and with peace. God doesn’t stay aloof from us or apathetic about our lives. 1Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you (NLT).”