I worry a normal amount. It comes with being a wife and mother. “He’s 30 minutes late and hasn’t called… what if he got in an accident???” or “She hasn’t been acting herself today… what if she’s getting sick?” and then I dwell on it and can’t focus on much else, until it is resolved. It can even affect me physically.
Then about two years ago I met Dr. John Kleinig. He came all the way from Australia to do some speaking engagements in the United States. I had the privilege of attending his event, and I took away one very simple and true fact that has changed my life:
“Worry is an invitation to pray.”
It almost seems too obvious to be good advice. But the Bible confirms it: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
Dr. Kleinig simply told me that as soon as that worried feeling starts tickling at my conscience, start praying. No matter what you are doing, freeze for a moment and pray. You don’t have to get down on your knees or do anything fancy (well I guess you can if you want to), but just stop what you’re doing and focus, say it in your mind or out loud, “Dear God, please keep them safe.” Then continue what you are doing. If that nagging worry starts to creep up again (which it almost certainly will), freeze and focus again to pray.
“Pray continually.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Every single time you have that worry, you stop and pray. It literally takes a few seconds.
Now let’s take a look at worry. The english definition is “give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” But we are going to redefine it. Worry is a blessing. Worry is a gift from God. It reminds you that you are dependent on Him, and who better to depend on?! God has saved us from the world, He has overcome the world and all it’s tragedy, pain, and suffering. Your worries remind you that you have an all-powerful, all-loving Father who will fill your time of grace on this earth with His glory, and welcome you as His own to eternal life, your true home. Worry is an invitation. God invites you to pray, over and over again, he invites you to focus on Him and talk to Him. “You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12. God promises to listen, and He promises that He will always love you.
Next time you worry, pray about it and thank the Lord. He is always present and His Will is always done.