Kim Allen offers this observation about the nature of worry:
Worry starts when we project into the future. The mind searches for and examines all the angles it can find related to worst-case scenarios. We rehearse how to respond to what might happen—I'll do this, then she’ll say that, then I'll say this. Before we know it, it's 3:00 in the morning. All this self talk is not only unproductive; it's exhausting!I resonate with that.. I often engage in this unproductive and exhausting kind of thinking. Can you relate?
It reminds me of how the scripture enjoins us to take thoughts captive. That said, I think that it is not a matter of one thought defeating another.. it is not simply thinking positive thoughts and hoping for the best.. it is not denying the painful realities of our life. It is simply trusting the Lord with all of our hearts and not leaning on our own understanding.
Worry captivates and imprisons us when we lean on our own understanding.. how can it not? When the doctor gives us a "terminal" diagnosis it is difficult to not engage our own understanding and entertain a worst-case death scenario.. in these times it is difficult to engage heart faith.
In difficult times it is good to remember that the scripture calls us to:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)Isn't it interesting that the apostle begins with anxiety and ends with peace.. begins with the head and ends with the heart. When we pray we take those things that worry us and trouble our heads to the Lord.. through prayer we cast them on the Lord. In return, the Lord may not fix things.. He may not heal that "terminal" diagnosis.. but He will give of peace of heart and mind.
Today if you are struggling.. if worry has overcome you.. if you often entertain worst-case scenarios.. try going to the Lord and engage Him with your heart. Yes, pray with your heart and not your head.. try to not allow your head to dominate your prayers.. so often prayer can just be another way that we worry. Pour your heart out to the Lord.. tell Him what is going on.. entrust Him with your cares and worries.. and let Him fill you with His peace. Cast your cares because He cares.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1Peter 5:6-7)