Posted by: Anne | February 27, 2021

the cost of worry, the value of faith

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm.”
~ Psalm 37:8 (New King James Version)

“When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

Practical advice, indeed, although the real-life applications aren’t always obvious. And the proverbial hole-digging is likely to continue if I fail to make the connection: “Oh no! My actions are making things worse!”

Sometimes I need help making that connection, as with a recent pattern of worrying. In my exasperation over a troubling situation, I cycle through the details in my head in a near-constant loop, struggling for a solution. Other times, caught up in emotion, I feel completely overwhelmed, powerless to stem the tide of anxious thoughts.

More and more, whatever form my worry is taking, the above Bible verse comes to mind, letting me know what the outcome of continuing on this anxious path will be: only harm. Harm. Only! Even in a highly emotional state, I recognize the value in avoiding that, and so I know I must make an effort to “stop digging.” For me, that often includes the following steps:

* TIME OUT. Recognizing that my anxiety does absolutely nothing to solve the problem, carve out a few minutes in which I refuse to worry. Look away; count a single blessing and let that be my world for a little while.

* MAKE ROOM FOR MAYBE. Maybe it will all go as I fear. But maybe it won’t. Very often, this simple acknowledgement sparks hope that is strengthened as I recall multiple occasions in which I fearfully expected a disaster that never developed.

* PRAY. Accept God’s invitation to cast my cares on Him. Tell Him my fears and trust His promise to help, in His time and His way.

* FEED MY UPLOOK. God’s good answer to my prayer might include a season of imperceptibly slow change. While I’m waiting to see fruits of my faith, my unfocused thoughts can again drift toward worry; Biblical truths encourage an upward focus, especially when presented in the form of music.

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