If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t seem to break the Worry habit, this post is for you. And there’s a special Gift Giving Tip that will make your Christmas–and your life–so much better.
Just because it’s a holy holiday season, don’t think that Worry will respect this and refuse to squelch your festive spirit, because it won’t. It’ll tap you on your shoulder from behind, wake you up in the middle of the night with those dreadful thoughts, and hound you right and left– because Worry thrives on presenting you with a million “could-go wrong” scenarios, and never presents the option that all may go right. That all is calm, all is bright, as the Christmas carol suggests.
For those of you who believe in prayer, you also know that when you’ve prayed and asked for help with this worry problem, that you don’t necessarily feel much relief immediately or that your problem that is causing the worry doesn’t necessarily go away. So that can add a little more to your problems because now maybe you feel like you failed at trusting God or that maybe you didn’t have enough faith.
I’ve found that when I go through a troubling time, circumstantially, that I actually have two problems:
1. the actual circumstances which are negative or distressing, and then
2. my perception of the resources I have to deal with the problem, and my perception of what (bad thing) I think will happen next.
In other words, my first problem is actually occurring (my actual circumstances) but my second problem I’m facing is not actual– but anticipatory. It’s what I think or imagine might go wrong next, and how I might fail at handling or navigating through my actual problem... or how God might also “fail” in reaching me in time.
Now wait a minute, Lauren, God doesn’t ever fail us, you’re admonishing. And you’re right, He does not fail us, ever. He cannot fail us. BUT THAT”S NOT WHAT OUR MIND TELLS US WHEN WE ARE IN A CRISIS.
Worry likes to present a Double Loss scenario to us: Worry says that we will not be able to handle our crisis AND that God will not be able to help us through it either.
So that’s why we have trouble releasing our worries to God. We’re not sure, deep down inside, that He really wants to, and that He really will, help us. In other words, we have to know this one truth first, before we can act on the second truth next:
- Does God desire to help me? And is He able to help me? (This is all about who God is, this question). Psalm 55:22 tells us, Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. We’ve got to spend some time really getting comfortable with the reality of this truth, poking it, drawing close to it, experiencing it and seeing that it’s real: GOD WILL NOT PERMIT YOU TO FALL.
- Then, if I believe this first truth, will I then trust Him to help me, and therefore, WILL I LET GO OF THE PROBLEM TO HIM? I can’t let go of my worry if there’s no permanent place for the worry to go, no place for me to send my worry to. Because it’ll just turn around and come back to me.
This blessed season of gift giving and hope, there’s Someone who is waiting for the strangest kind of gift you could ever give someone: and that’s the gift of your worries. God says He would like you to give them to Him– and not take them back. Because that’s not proper etiquette. And for lack of a better term, that’s being an Indian-Giver. No taking back of a gift allowed!Especially when it’s the God of the universe you’re giving the gift to!
So do what you can to solve your troubling situation: make that phone call, confront that person, do the thing you’re afraid you’re going to fail at, pay the bills that you can, go into surgery having researched all options, ask for that time off….do what you can do, and then “give your burdens to the Lord” —and let them stay there, in His capable arms.
And when you release the problem to God, don’t let it return to you in the form of worry. When it tries to return, simply slam the door in its face, and say,
“Worry, you’ve got to go!”