Finding Joy... - Part 5 [Devo]

Go Deeper

Hello worry, my old friend. We are well-acquainted, you and I.

I treat worry like a guilty pleasure, one that I know isn’t good for me, but that I turn to again and again. In quiet moments when I am trying to rest or focus on a task, worry creeps in and can consume me until it is all that I can do. I recently read a poem that resonated with me in this regard. It read:

“Worry is a futile thing
It's like a rocking chair
It will keep you occupied
But won't get you anywhere.”
— Erma Bombeck

Worry is a cycle that sometimes feels impossible to break out of, but it’s not a modern invention. Andrew Archer shared with us during Sunday’s message what Paul had to say about worry in Philippians 4:1-9. Verse 6 is especially meaningful to me. It says::  

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” — Philippians 4:6

Andrew noted that this reference to worry can also be translated as “don’t continue to worry.”  Worry can stem from a healthy sense of reflection and planning that serves many well in preparing for the future. It’s when we continue to let these thoughts and concerns plague us that it can become unhealthy. So what should we do when we feel the weight of our worries? Paul tells us to pray, specifically with supplication and thanksgiving.

Turning everything over to God isn’t easy, and it shouldn’t be. It’s meant to be a challenge, one that helps us prove ourselves to be faithful and obedient. To consistently cast your cares upon the Lord and dwell not on fears and doubts, but on being grateful for all that we have and can look forward to, is a true test.

About a month ago, I was sitting in a stiff, uncomfortable hospital chair, next to my snoozing mother while she received chemotherapy. Gazing at her pained expression was causing me fear and worry, so I closed my eyes and turned to the window. Oftentimes, my prayers are unfocused pleas for peace and wisdom, but I was momentarily able to shut out everything else and speak directly to the Father, bringing Him all of my burdens. And at that moment, the sun broke through the clouds and warmed my face. I felt the tension leave my body as I relaxed in His presence and felt reassured that I could lay it all at His feet.

Join me this week in taking time to tune it all out and truly talk to the Father. Lay it all down on Him, whose burden is light. Let Him relieve you and bring you peace. And when you feel those worrying and anxious thoughts creeping back in, give it to Him again.
Author: Michelle Lemley, Nursery Coordinator
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