“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.” ~Mark Twain
One of my favorite sayings is, “Let’s not jump off that bridge until we have to.” Statistics say that eighty-five percent of the things we worry about happening never happen. They never happen. So I wonder how much time we spend worrying about things that never come to pass?
The Lord knew we would worry. It’s one of the reasons he told us never to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We were never supposed to be able to decide for ourselves that which is good for us, and that which is bad. When you take away that ability, you take away worry. If you doubt me, then take a look at the story in Genesis.
What was the first result of their eating from that tree? Worry! Even before the buck passing started, there was worry. Adam hid from God because he worried about what God would think of his nakedness. Worry has been our enemy from the beginning, and has become a tool of the Adversary from that time forward.
Worry steals time from us, it robs our joy, and worry can even paralyze us. It keeps us up late, making for many sleepless nights, causes our physical health to decline, leads us to making bad decisions, brings conflict to friends and family, and keeps us from moving forward in our lives.
We really must get a hold of this thing called worry. What would our lives look like if we just never worried about things that will likely never happen? How much time would be freed up for us to accomplish that which we have been placed here to do?
One of the big problems with worry is it seems we cannot help sharing it with those around us. When we are worried about something, then we must tell those around us so that they can worry with us. The more people who are worried, the better, right? If someone else is worried, too, then somehow it validates our own worrying. But in essence, what we have done is drag another person into the trap of worry with us. How unkind. Why do we do that, especially to people we love?
The Bible tells us that we cannot add one day to our lives by worrying. (Matthew 6:25-34) Look at the flowers of the field. They don’t worry about anything and yet they are more beautiful than any royal robes ever worn. And what about the birds of the air? They don’t worry about where their next meal is going to come from, and yet they eat.
So what is the remedy of worry?
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” ~ Col. 3:15
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” ~ 2 Thess. 3:16
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Phil.4:6-7
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Prov. 3:5-6
Need I go on? Worry has been around since the fall of man back in the garden. But God’s peace is also available to all who learn to seek it. I’ll not kid you, this retraining of the heart and mind takes time and much effort. I used to be a bridge jumper, but I have worked hard to stop all that. That’s not to say that I don’t jump from time to time, but it is rare these days. And can I tell you something? Peace beats the socks of off worry every time.
Most Christians like to claim Romans 8:28, but most Christians don’t really embrace it. Not really. Why? Because we want to decide what is good for us, and sometimes we are way off. We can count on the fact that God is working all things out for our good, we just have to learn to trust in him for what that good is. Let go of worry today. Kick the worry habit. Embrace peace.