Planning a huge fundraising event was scaring me – especially since I would be on stage … you know – talking and stuff. Eek. Then I found out that someone I care about was about to become homeless. And then came the cancer call. It’s a lot to deal with. … to worry about… to be immobilized by.
In this storm, I thank God for giving me the verse He did:
“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.”
As I follow the prescription of this verse, the truth of it is revealed. It really is a step-by-step guide from worry to peace:
1. Decide To Talk To God About It.
a. It’s so easy to get carried away in thoughts, imagining what horrors await me in the future. It’s also easy to pretend it all doesn’t exist. Either way, I’m not talking to God when I worry. Just to decide to talk to Him is a huge start.
2. Tell Him What You Need.
a. Even if our conversation looks mostly like me shaking my head and saying “I don’t know. I just don’t know”, we’re talking. Before I know it, I’m spilling my heart to Him – how I feel, what I fear and hope for… everything.
3. Thank Him For All He Has Done
a. Ah, the key: shift in focus. As I take my eyes off of trouble and fix them on Him, I’m reminded that He is faithful and good and will continue to be. As I thank Him (praise) I am lifted up out of fear and despair. I can see light. (yet another thing to be thankful for!)
Then, as promised, peace comes. On a particularly ‘heavy’ day, the peace may only last a half hour before worry takes hold again. I may need to repeat it again and again … but it works. My focus is taken off of public speaking and cancer, and placed where it belongs. Ah … peace. And it’s not just for me: walking in peace lifts me up, and remobilizes me to reach out to others. I’m not much help as a discouraged lump, whimpering on the couch. But in the strength of peace I can encourage and build up others – just like I love to do. Woo! Thank you Lord!