What is it in your life that consumes your mind with worry? It’s that thing that you can’t handle listening to someone else’s story about their experience with that particular thing, because it just gets in your head and won’t go away. It’s that thing that is waiting to haunt you first thing in the morning, stealing your thoughts away from being able to remember that day is a gift your loving Father has given you. It’s the last thing on your mind at night, and sometimes it’s what wakes you up in the night and won’t let your mind rest. What is it in your life that no matter how many times you pray about, read verses about, give over to God, again and again and again, it keeps coming back?
Mine is my teeth. You can laugh. I (Amy) can’t see or hear you laughing, so it’s okay to laugh. It’s probably a ridiculous fear, but there it is. I know that my teeth are not in their best health condition, a lot of it to do with how I’ve (not) taken care of them. But that fear of not knowing how bad opened the door wide open for worry to obsess over how bad it could be, to the point of multiple dreams of every tooth falling out and daytime fretting that I was going to set a record for being the youngest person alive to have dentures. If you have never experienced worry and fear taking you to such a distant, isolated place, I envy you. But I’m guessing, chances are, that whatever your “thing” is that you obsessively worry about has taken you to wondering about some rather extreme outcomes.
I have journaled and prayed every verse I know about worry for weeks now.* I have surrendered this worry to God, repeatedly. I have gone through this cycle seemingly ad nauseum because every time I prayed, my worry hadn’t gone anywhere. I couldn’t escape this fear. God would grant me peace, and the best time of my day was hiding myself in reading His Word. But I would have to leave that sanctuary, and my thoughts betrayed me and strayed back to worry, no matter how much Scripture I had at the ready to fight back.
All this struggle culminated to my recent dentist appointment. When I got home from the appointment, I pulled out my journal and began discussing what had just happened with God. Several realizations came out of this conversation:
- What I went through was nowhere near as bad as what I had allowed my worry and fear to build it up to be.
- There are things I personally need to change, not only in dental health; but instead of letting fear control me so strongly, remembering that God is sovereign over all things.
I’d been robbed.
Allow me to expand on that last one. My time, my energy, my efforts, my focus had all been pointed at fighting this fear. My days had been robbed of spending time in prayer for others: people I care about, missionaries, our country’s leaders, etc. My energy had been robbed of the opportunity to accomplish more in my day-to-day life: getting settled in this new town, improving my interpreting, working on writing, getting my taxes done, and anything/everything towards what God has called me to in this new chapter in life! My focus had become completely distracted from my Savior, and I was staring down the waves, sinking under them, trying to fight the water and stay afloat. It was all completely unnecessary.
Are my teeth so important to impact God’s Kingdom? No. But letting them become the distraction that kept me from doing Kingdom work, from serving God with all my heart, mind, and strength, is infuriating to me. And I’m done with that. So what is it in your life that’s robbing your energy and time? Is it worth it? Because I’m willing to say it’s not worth taking your eyes off your Savior.
*In case you are in need of some ammo from the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12):
- Luke 12:22-32
- 1 Peter 5:7
- Philippians 4:6-7
- Psalm 55:22
- Psalm 56:4
- Psalm 94:19
Journal it, pray it, meditate on it, memorize it, let these Truths sink into your mind and heart.