There is a story told about a woman who for many years couldn’t sleep at night because she worried that her home would be burglarized. One night her husband heard a noise in the house, so he went downstairs to investigate. When he got there, he found a burglar. The husband said to the burglar, “Come upstairs and meet my wife. She has been waiting 10 years to meet you.”
The tragic thing about the story above? If the robber had come in …and the woman had never previously thought about him… he would have stolen stuff and left. One event. One outcome. Instead, this robber stole much more… 10 years of sleep… peace of mind… tranquility… contentment…
The what-ifs were much worse than the burglar who eventually showed up.
Worry is just like that. Precious seconds of our lives spent waiting for someone or something to happen. Sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn’t. But our bodies and minds don’t know the difference.
The scenario in our head seems very real…and our body reacts. Stress, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, anxiety, tension, irritability… all byproducts of a life focused on what could happen over what sometimes actually does.
Worry is powerful… and many times it leads us to turn away from God and try to manage it ourselves. Problem is… there usually isn’t a problem. Look at these stats:
An average person’s anxiety is focused on :
40% — things that will never happen
30% — things about the past that can’t be changed
12% — things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% — about health, which gets worse with stress
8% — about real problems that will be faced
8%. That tells me that 92% of what we worry about is unnecessary. In the Psalms, David dealt with the 92% too… only he chose a different path than worry.
“O God, have mercy on me,
for people are hounding me.
My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?”
David chose to trust. Not try to trust. Not say he was going to trust. Not tell others to trust. Not think that trusting was a good idea. Not hear a message about trusting and then worrying all the way home. Not just trusting when things were going great. Not trusting when he ran out of his own power. Not trusting in the small things and trying to handle the big things. Not trusting his past successes. Not trusting his gut over his God.
Is this always easy? Are you always going to feel like trusting? Maybe not. My suggestion to overcoming worry may seem cliché but it works…
Take it one day at a time.
While touring Italy, a man visited a cathedral that had been completed on the outside only. Once inside, the traveler found an artist kneeling before an enormous wall upon which he had just begun to create a mosaic. On some tables nearby were thousands of pieces of colored ceramic. Curious, the visitor asked the artist how he would ever finish such a large project. The artist answered that he knew how much he could accomplish in one day. Each morning, he marked off an area to be completed that day and didn’t worry about what remained outside that space. That was the best he could do; and if he faithfully did his best, one day the mosaic would be finished.
How do we accomplish something as big as trust over worry?
One day…. one decision…one choice at a time. Handle what’s now instead of what may never be. Intentionally decide…even if it’s hour by hour…to give things to God instead of allowing the enemy to intimidate us with scenarios and what-ifs.
We are a masterpiece… and our lives are a beautiful mosaic of experiences (both uplifting and challenging). Let’s turn our hearts and minds over to Christ…there’s no need to worry anymore.