You Don’t Have to Be Afraid
Our grandson Aiden Redemption is like his dad. He is bright and organized. He loves to break things down into manageable steps. You can see his little wheels turning and he will say, “First, we will do this, then after that we will do this, then we will do this…” He always has a plan with steps. I think God wired him that way and I think he learned it from is very organized dad. Steps. When you face a big tasks, maybe it is a good idea to break it down and tackle one piece at a time. What do you do when you are overwhelmed with worry and anxiety? How to you deal with low-grade fear? Let’s break it down.
1. Clearly Name What You Fear.
Whenever you are tempted to worry, immediately get to a quiet place if you can and identify the source of your worry. What do you fear will happen? What do you fear will not happen? Write it down if you have to. Talk about it with someone if you have to but quiet your heart and do what you have to do to process it, but figure out what it is that is driving your anxiety. When you have isolated it, write is down as clearly as you can.
2. Identify It’s Opposite.
Now take that fear and imagine the opposite of it. If your inner voice is saying, “What happens if you run out of money before you die,” turn that into a positive request. Maybe that would sound something like this: “Lord, I pray that you will allow me to have what I need all the day of my life and that you will provide for my basic needs.” Or, “Lord, help me to be faithful to bring you glory with my life even if you allow me to die hungry.”
If your fear is that your children will walk away from the Lord, turn that worry into a prayer like this, “Lord, I pray for John, that he will walk with God all the days of his life and never turn aside and die faithful to God as an old man.”
3. Pray. Ask the Lord for That.
Now you have isolated that for which you need to pray. Pray. When you turn a worry into a prayer it is no longer a worry. You are not worrying you are praying. You are not disobeying God, you are obeying God. That is why the Apostle Paul said this:
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7, ESV)
4. Now Thank the Lord and Anticipate Peace.
Paul wrote: and the peace of God… will guard your hearts and minds…” God wants your heart and your mind to be free of fear and worry and anxiety.
Recently I have been learning that I will not achieve my ideal weight by start and stop fad diets. I need to eat what I need to maintain my ideal weight now nothing more and I need to do that with prolonged consistency. I don’t need to cut back drastically a few days at a time and then get discouraged and break over. I need to eat what I need consistency every day.
A coach I was watching said, “Do this for 90 days without any variation before you tell me it’s not working. If it is not working after you have faithfully done what you should do for 90 days in a row, we will lower your daily calorie goal.
I need to say the same thing here. Take these steps over and over for 90 days, every time you are tempted to worry. See the difference it makes after you discipline yourself to repeatedly obey this simple instructions Paul has given.
Don’t worry. Take a slow drive down a country road and pray.
Bittersweet Farm | November 2023