Faith to Feeling: The Worry Command

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

What? Can you really just tell someone not to worry about anything – not to feel anxious, at all – and expect that they’ll be able to stop it? Just like that?

ftf_350We have to assume that if God tells us not to be anxious about anything that it is actually possible. He doesn’t direct us to do what we can’t do. In fact, he gives us something to do with what’s bothering us instead of worrying about it:

Give it to him. Let him hold it; trust him to handle it. I’m not painting a meaningless word picture here; this is actually what we’re told to do: Ask. Ask again. Thank him for what he has already provided. Give the request for the thing that’s bothering you to God instead of worrying about it.

Too simple? It helps me to think of the thing I’m worried about as a physical object – a ball, a bag of flour, a brick – and I either hold on to it or hand it to him and then take it back and then hand it to him. I can’t trust him with it and be anxious about it in the same moment.

More tomorrow.

Think: Does a command like this not to worry feel unfair to you? Do you agree that it is not possible to trust God and to keep worrying at the same time? How important is it to God that we trust him?

Pray: Ask God to help you not to be anxious about anything, but to ask for his help for everything that bothers you.

Do: Think of something that’s bothering you and practice giving your request to God and not worrying about it for a while. Notice how it feels to really let it go.