When I Worry

Have you ever been expecting someone at a certain time, only they don’t show up and you can’t reach them? At what point do you worry that something has happened?

Have you ever received bad news from a doctor concerning yourself or someone you love? Do you find yourself worrying in such a situation?

I’m guessing most of us have been in these kinds of situations, and others, when it is hard not to worry. You may remember me telling recently that I couldn’t sleep one night due to worry. I’ve had some things going on that have me worried. I try not to worry. What purpose does it serve, really? Worry, in and of itself, accomplishes nothing. Although I suppose there could be something to be said about it, in that our feelings may spur us to action.

When something is bothering me, worrying me, I try to do what I can and let it go. Often, it seems the action centers around arming myself with information. Being in the dark about something that affects me leaves me feeling powerless. Even if the outcome of a situation is uncertain, it still helps me to know the possibilities and to know my options. Even imagining a worst case scenario can be helpful when I’m worried, because I can picture myself dealing with that worst case scenario and moving on. Believing that I can deal with whatever is coming my way makes a difference to me.

Beyond my own research, preparation, and action, I can also find comfort in prayer and in the Bible. Take a look at these words:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet the heavenly father fees them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ~Matthew 6:25

Now, I don’t believe in just leaving everything to chance, or just waiting for God to provide. I believe in work, in doing what we can to take care of ourselves, our families and our communities. Still, these words do speak to me. Yes, life is more than food. Yes, the body is more than the clothes it wears. Yes, there will be hard times, but it can help to take the focus off the given worry of the day and remember the things that matter most. Love. Friendship. Determination. Compassion. Strength. Even in difficult times, we can lean on our loved ones (or give them a shoulder to lean on), and we can continue living out the values and character traits that make us who we are. Strength, for example, may look different when we’re sick from the way it does when we’re healthy, but it is still there. And bottom line, no you cannot add a single hour to your life by worrying. So, I will stick with doing what I can and doing my best to let go of worry. It’s not always easy, but that’s my goal.

If you have worries that are dragging you down, I wish you peace of mind. What a tremendous difference that makes in hard times, don’t you think?

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