Do you feel like your life is a strapped in and buckled down roller coaster ride that snaps your neck and fills your belly with butterflies? If you feel like your life is a bone-crushing ride from thin-aired heights to the stifling heat and the stagnant air in the valley below, you may be wrapped in the chains of worry.
When you went to bed last night, did you worry that you might not be able to get to sleep or did you worry that you might not be able to wake up? Did you worry that you left a light on or the nightlight off?
Some people worry themselves sick: Worry and stress have been linked to a higher risk for illness, including conditions such as obesity and hypertension. Charles Mayo said:
Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects the health. I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt.
Because there is such a high cost to a worry-filled life, we need to learn to be worry-free. This was Paul’s advice to the Philippians, and I’ll share it with you from two versions:
- The Message: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
- The Amplified Bible: Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
It is hard to pray and worry at the same time, so instead of seething in worry, try breathing a prayer to God. In Matthew 6:32-33, Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need!”
Don’t let the roller coaster of worry control your life. Go to Jesus and trust Him so you can be worry free. As the old hymn says: Take the name of Jesus with you.