Sunday, 30 January 2011
Life can be hard. Life can be stressful. Life is a roller coaster of emotions at times.
It seems that life is full of worries and concerns. All of us have them at times. Think of worry as a range of things from the biggest to the smallest. Sometimes they are big concerns, life and death issues. Other times they are smaller, but just as much a concern. Sometimes they are some where in the middle of this range.
Big Worry---------Middle Worry-------------Small Worry
I know I don't take my worries to the One who can truly take care of them every time they occur. Instead I often let them eat me up and cause me physical harm. I have a heart issue that when I am stressed and anxious my heart beats rapidly. Officially it has been diagnosed just over a month ago. It is not the same as a panic attack. It has to do with the electrical impulses in my heart being rerouted and then sent to where they should go. Currently since it seems to be situationally provoked my doctor is just monitoring what is causing it. So in my case worry is actually a HUGE medical issue for me. I have been struggling with worry for a long time.
Even before my diagnosis I have been trying to as I realize I am becoming anxious I am have been using them to prompt me to pray more. I write "Dear Jesus" letters in my journal and tell him about what is going on in my life. I pour my heart out to Jesus in these letters. I also have found a safe community to share my heart with. This has been an important part of community for me, learning to trust other people with my heart, fears and worries.
This past week or two has been filled with an old worry, and it is on the scale of "big." I started off letting some friends know what was going on asking them to pray for me. Then I took myself to scripture and soaked in the promises of God, like God is always with me, and he always will love me no matter what. I had a friend pray with me this morning after service was over. I cried and cried when I left before I got home. I needed the release of stress that tears offer.
And today I found these old familiar verses of Philippians 4: 6-9 "Don't worry. Instead of worry, 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. Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."
I love how God brings verses to me as I need them to encourage me and strengthen me. It is like a hug from heaven.
What do you do when worries of life come in? How do you hold onto God's promises?