**Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God** Philippians 6:6
Be careful for nothing. Don’t be anxious. STOP WORRYING!! Stop making mountains out of molehills!!
The message for tip #6 is pretty clear. We all worry too much!
We worry about our finances, our children, our health, our schedule. We worry if our kids are eating right, if they are in the right school, and if they will make friends. We stay up at night worrying about the bills that are due, about the results of a medical test, about tomorrow’s very long to-do list.
Worry, worry, worry.
We have headaches, tense muscles, upset stomachs, back pain, anger issues, emotional instability–all because we worry TOO MUCH!
I am an expert in the worry department. I have lost more sleep, been to more doctors for stress-related illness, spent days in bad moods, all due to worry. I have lost important time with my children and with my husband because I have been too stressed out by all the things I worry about.
But here are a few things I have learned from my worry years.
- Worrying doesn’t help any problem but it can make it worse.
- I cannot and do not control my life, so why am I always trying to?
- My worrying means I am not living by faith.
- Some of my worrying just means I am selfish.
- My worrying hurts my family and sets a bad example for all of them.
- Worrying means I do not trust my husband’s abilities to provide for us.
- Worrying also tells my husband that I do not believe in him.
- Worrying tells God that I do not like the way He is putting together my life.
My worrying has caused countless frustrations and arguments in our marriage. It puts me in bad moods, puts distance between the two of us, and keeps me short tempered or crying like a hormonal teen.
Oh, I could cover the whole alphabet with my failures in the worry department. But the good news is that God is slow to anger and ready to forgive. He knows all of my shortcomings better than I know them myself. And He sees me at the end of my life story and isn’t concerned because of my day to day mess ups.
Thankfully, although I have the lifelong habit of worrying, I also know the solution and am working hard at taking full advantage of it.
Gratitude and prayer.
I have not kicked the worry habit completely but I am less anxious about every little thing in life. I have seen God do miraculous things with our finances, our health, our children and our daily tasks.
Now that God and I have a history with my roller coaster emotions and God’s faithful and gentle provision, I am able to approach each problem as it arises with more faith and calm in the storms.
I have learned to talk things over with my husband, as many times as necessary, actually, in order to fully understand the situation and to know how he plans on handling it, and to be honest, he is actually very good at solving problems. I just didn’t give him much time or show him much patience in the past to do so.
We also use our much freer time as empty nesters to pray together more about whatever our current challenges are. And we both have become so THANKFUL after seeing God be so FAITHFUL these many, many years we have been together. And even more so, as we see His diligent care for us as we continue to live in a different culture.
So, now, ALL of my worry list is on my prayer list. I don’t always get complete victory over my worrying but I do get complete victory when I see how God answers. He is always good to me and I have yet to put one of my worries in His hands that He hasn’t been able to handle. And my thankful list is now longer than my worry list.
And a more grateful heart makes for a much happier marriage.
Especially for my husband.