"Casting all your care on God because he cares for you."1
"Worry, like a rocking chair," said Vance Havner, "will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere." Or as somebody else has said, "Worry is the advance interest you pay on troubles that seldom come."
According to Ken Anderson, nine times out of ten, the worrying about something does more damage to the one who worries than the thing he or she is worrying about.
Anderson continues, "Modern medical research has proved that worry breaks down resistance to disease. More than that, it diseases the nervous system—particularly that of the digestive organs and of the heart." Concern is needed to keep us on track with our responsibilities, but worry, like stress, is a killer.
An examination of 500 patients in a British clinic showed that more than one-third of their visual problems were caused by emotional tension. And a survey of some 5,000 university students showed that worriers get the lowest grades.
The word "worry" comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to strangle or to choke. While we need to be attentive to life's concerns, worrying about them "chokes" the joy out of life. "Worrying is like driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake."
One antidote for worry is trust and trust is a choice. When things aren't going well and I am prone to worry, I keep praying until the storm passes: "Dear God, I choose to trust you in this situation no matter how I feel." In time my feelings catch up with my choice and the worry gives way to calm. Meaningful worship, supportive relationships, sharing my feelings with a trusted friend, physical exercise, proper diet, deep breathing relaxation exercises and sufficient rest all help—plus learning to pray about the causes of my worry and not just the symptoms is a major key in learning to win over worry.
All the water in the world
However hard it tried,
Could never, never sink a ship
Unless it got inside.
All the hardships of this world,
Might wear you pretty thin,
But they won't hurt you, one least bit
Unless you let them in.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I choose to trust you no matter what. Please help me to always act responsibly, face and resolve any causes in my life that are at the root of my worrying, and leave the outcome to you of the many things in my life over which I have little or no control. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Peter 5:7.