“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (NLT)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (ESV)
Does anyone else get anxious just seeing this verse?
This is one of those passages that always comes up in high stress periods. For most of my life, this has been a guilt trip because I’m so good at worrying. We’ve talked about this over and over again. You’re probably sick of talking about it. I’m sick of writing about it.
But more than that, I’m sick of worrying.
In the middle of a crisis (aka, when there’s something I need to do, when I have to go somewhere, when someone has asked me to complete a task, whenever there’s a time crunch, whenever I have to complete an assignment, whenever I have to get somewhere on time, etc, etc, etc), the hardest thing is to step back and ask God how He sees my issue.
The hardest thing to do when worry strikes is to reach out of the worry. Worry sucks us in. It says, If you think about this more and over-examine every way that it could go wrong, it might just go right. You should think about it all the time, not just when it’s here. Stay sucked in to your thoughts. It’s a nice place to be.
It says that if we think about it hard enough, we can solve it. I know this because I was doing it this morning, thinking, thinking, worrying, pondering, worrying, letting anxiety creep into my life.
In the very moments that I was intending to be spending with God, worry started eating at my joy and peace.
My Bible teacher in my last two years of high school said something I’ve never forgotten, and perhaps I’ve even mentioned it here before. He said (in some variation of these words) that wherever we find ourselves is exactly where we should call out to God, saying, “Come here. I’m here. I need you. Come into my mess.” I think he was saying it in regard to when you find dirty thoughts creeping into your mind and sullying what God has planted there.
But I think of it often when I find my mind drifting anywhere unholy.
Because worry is unholy. It’s like getting flushed down a toilet, farther away from light and clean, happy living and closer to disaster and grossness.
When worry creeps in, those are the moments we need to see it and throw our hands up to Jesus. Because that stops worry in its tracks. When we say, “GOD, I CANNOT SAVE MYSELF FROM MY OWN MIND!” He says, “Well, of course not. That’s why I inspired Philippians 4:6.”
And then we’re right back where we started. That verse isn’t a guilt-trip. It’s an invitation to holy thinking, thinking that trusts God and knows that we’re incapable of rescuing ourselves even from our own minds.