An Inch of Worry Goes a Long Way…

An Inch of Worry Goes a Long Way…

You may have heard me say before, that if my lifetime of worry could somehow be measured, it would probably circle the earth—twice. Countless days (and nights) have been spent consumed with mind-numbing thoughts about everyone and everything in my life.

I remember being in the first grade, and one morning on the way to school, my little brother who was two at the time, fell out of our Suburban and rolled to the curb. My mom actually thought she’d run over him. He was fine, but I was not. My little-girl heart was trembling with fear over what could have happened. I couldn’t even go to school that day!

It wasn’t until I got married and had a family of my own, that the Lord took me through a “refining fire” of sorts. He allowed all kinds of trials to come, mostly concerning my children, which made me feel paralyzed with fear like that little girl in the Suburban again. But over time, I gained a different perspective—God’s perspective. I realized that not even an inch of worry could change a single thing. Even though is seemed hardwired in me, fretting never helped my circumstances.

 

I realized that not even an inch of worry could change a single thing. Click To Tweet

 

Here are a few more perspectives God has refined in me over the years. I hope they help you as well.

 

I no longer worry about God hearing me.

 

It’s tempting to assume that some of our prayers go unheard. If we don’t get a timely answer, or if our circumstances don’t change, we tend to think that God isn’t listening. But I’ve learned to ignore any thoughts of God’s absence, and instead, embrace His presence.

 

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14

 

“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12

 

*The next time you are convinced that the Lord is not listening, I encourage you to pray those verses aloud. The lies of the enemy will soon vanish, as God’s peace washes over you.

 

I no longer try to control the situation with my prayers.

 

It’s true, I’ve often used prayer as more of a “to-do” list for God than a “Thy will be done” act of faith. 

Can anyone relate?

I sometimes think that if I cover all the bases, say just the right things, or pray three times a day like Daniel did, I can somehow control the outcome. This is one of the hardest habits to overcome.

 

I've often used prayer as a to-do list for God rather than a Thy will be done act of faith. Click To Tweet

 

But it all boils down to faith, doesn’t it?

 

“I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on Your laws.” Psalm 119:30

 

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7

 

Even though I don’t believe we can ever weary God with sincere prayers of faith, we can become so repetitive in our prayers, we start to “talk over” the mighty work He is already doing. Does that make sense? He may be saying, “Daughter, I’ve got this,” but we are too busy babbling.

 

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

 

I’ve learned to resist the temptation to try and control my circumstances through prayer. It’s not easy, being the “fixer” that I am, but I know that I have no power to change anything…only God does. And there’s a beautiful balance between crying out to the Lord and being still before Him.

 

I no longer think it “must” turn out like I expect it to.

 

My husband recently said, “It’s a good thing I’m not God. I would do things so much differently, and probably make a big mess.”

It’s easy to tell God how things ought to turn out. After all, we want our loved ones to know Christ today. We want to be healed now. And, we think we know what is best. However, the Bible says,

 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

 

The popular mantra, “Do what feels right to you,” has replaced God’s perfect and holy guidance. But the sooner we realize that our own understanding will always be flawed, the sooner we can turn our will fully over to His.

 

“…Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

 

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

 

Whenever I think that the Lord is not listening, or I want to control things, or I feel like I know what is best,  I remind myself that He does not want anyone to perish. He longs for their repentance and acceptance of Him! And that alone brings an immeasurable amount of comfort.

God’s answers may not turn out like we expect, but it’s OK. We don’t have to worry. Let’s stop letting worry have even an inch of time in the measurement of our faith. Instead, let’s change our perspective to God’s perspective…one we can be absolutely sure of.

 

Always an email away,

Jennifer

 

*Would you like to read more about my battle with worry?

Click HERE for a free chapter of my book,

Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer.

And feel free to share this link with friends and family members who struggle with worry and anxiety.

6 Responses

  1. Audra
    | Reply

    Awesome post. Thank you for sharing and providing just the right biblical verse(s) to support the topic. I especially felt drawn to the topic that our circumstances/problems don’t have to turn out like we expect them to- doesn’t mean God isn’t still Sovereign. Wow…amazing truth!!

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      Thank you, Audra! I am so blessed that the blog post encouraged you. I really appreciate you letting me know!

  2. Renee
    | Reply

    This is so good, Jennifer. Sharing it now. I also loved reading your book a while back. It’s such a blessing to others. This was a new Scripture verse for me that I really needed at this time in my life: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
    Thank you! XO

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      2 Peter 3:9 is a verse I’m clinging to as well!

  3. dawna hetzler
    | Reply

    Giving my worries to God! Thanks for the reminder, Jennifer.

    • encouragementmama@gmail.com
      | Reply

      You are welcome, Dawna!

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