“It’s like you need to have something to worry about.”
A painful truth spoken to me in love by my husband. When I take inventory of the past few years in the arena of worry, the timeline reveals the truth of his assessment. From the decision to start “trying” to get pregnant, to struggling through a season of infertility, a pregnancy, the birth of our son and the first year of his life — all seasons were plagued with worry to one degree or another. Each season God has shown his steadfast love and faithfulness. In light of this, shouldn’t my worry have ceased to exist or at least noticeably diminished with each consecutive step? And yet, I still find my mind and heart to be a battle ground riddled by the choice to worry or to trust.
To be clear, I’m not speaking of a battle with clinical anxiety, but rather the kind of worry that ultimately stems from a prideful, frantic hunger to control and produce desirable, safe, and comfortable outcomes. Let’s call it what it is — sin. It’s a kind of habit that’s formed. Those neural tracks have been travelled time and time again, forming a default of the mind. It's always entertaining the “what if’s.”
It’s exhausting and, bottom line, it’s not the way we were created to live.
We will always default to something. Our mental framework supports certain ideas, emotions, and thought patterns that have been set in place by our repetitive choices. When worry looms and lurks in the shadows of the mind and heart, will we default to our tendencies toward control and comfort, clinging to worry as if it holds even a single ounce of power to bring about anything good or productive? Or — will we choose a better way? There is a default that leads to life and freedom rather than exhaustion and bondage.
“He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord"
Our default is that which our thoughts instictively turn toward. Perfect peace is bestowed by God when our mind, heart, and spirit fall toward him. When I am immersed in scripture as it tells the grand story of how God has brought hope, salvation and restoration through the cross of Christ, the correct default is set. It's one that leads to growth, life, freedom, and most importantly, God's glory.
How? Because of this: thoughts of the Lord lead down a corridor of worship. As we meditate on Him, who He is and what He has done, the affections of our hearts are stirred and we become active participants in worship.
In His book, Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado speaks of exposing your worry to worship. You see, worry and worship cannot be supported simultaneously. You can't walk the fence, or straddle a line. You will be participating in one or the other because the two cannot coexist in the same moment. Worship exposes worry, It sheds light on its lies, and shines the Truth. Worship is transformative. It’s not just something we participate in on Sunday mornings, it is what we were created to do each and every day, moment by moment. It is more than a song sung with our voices; it is a song lived throughout each day as our thoughts and actions are carried out in response to who God is.
Worship is a choice to say, "You, O Lord, are worthy of all praise, honor and glory. You are love. You are good, faithful, and just. You have proven it by Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and because of that, I don't have to worry. I can rest in you, because of who you are."
When worship is present, worry is cast out.
Lord, give me the strength to default to worship and not to worry.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord, He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
In view of God's mercy,