An Ex-Worrywart Helps You to Quit Worrying
By Julie Morris –
These are scary times we are living in! There are so many things to worry about. If you’re anything like I was, worries swirl around in your head taking turns tormenting you. Struggling against them is exhausting. They drag your focus away from the things you want to think about and keep you from doing many of the things you want to do.
Maybe you feel, as I did, that you can’t quit worrying. Even though I had been a Bible teacher for many years, I still couldn’t control my anxious thoughts. So I worried… because I couldn’t stop worrying!
After almost a lifetime of worrying, it’s wonderful to be able to tell you that I am an ex-worrywart. If you battle worries as I did for so many years, let me help you to turn from this exhausting habit.
Why do some people worry more than others?
Things like temperament, traumatic experiences and trials make some people more prone to worry than others. But sometimes, physical reasons can be the cause. Chemical imbalances and hormonal changes are just a few of the physical causes for worry, so if you suddenly start worrying more than usual, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about it.
How can my faith help me not to worry?
The word worry in Greek and Hebrew means heavy labor, toil, anguish, misery, distress and weariness. Do those words describe you? If so, you need to listen to Jesus’ encouraging invitation in Matthew 11:28-29 where he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
You’ll miss out on Jesus’ beautiful word picture unless you understand the yoke he is talking about. You might recall that a yoke is like a wooden collar that an animal wears when plowing the fields. Since long before Jesus’ time, people have trained young oxen by yoking one of them together with an older, more experienced ox. That double yoke joins the two oxen together and looks like a lopsided “m,” with one side larger than the other. The young one walks alongside the older one, while the older ox directs his steps and carries most of the load.
Jesus says that if you’re weary and burdened, come to him and he will give you rest. If you take up his yoke and walk alongside him, he will direct your steps and carry most of the load. That is a life-changing message.
How do you yoke yourself to Jesus?
Here are a few practical ways:
•As you open your eyes each morning, tell Jesus you need his help that day. During the day when you face a problem, thank him for being there to help you.
•Have a quiet time for a few minutes first thing every morning. Write your prayers because this will help you to focus on them. List specific challenges you face that day and ask Jesus to help you with each one.
•Do things that will help you to keep your focus on him; for example, read books by Christian authors, keep a praise tape or CD in your car so that it plays automatically when you’re driving, and surround yourself with friends who have a close relationship with Jesus and ask them what they are doing to grow spiritually.
•Cling to Scriptures that will help you to trust him with each of your worries. Here’s one of my favorites: Deuteronomy 33:12 “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”
No matter how many problems you have, if you yoke yourself to Jesus, you will be able to deal with them as you walk by his side–letting him direct your steps and carry most of the load.
Adapted from the book From Worry to Worship (www.worrytoworship.com) by Julie Morris.
Julie Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the author of 12 books and a dynamic motivational speaker. She would love to talk to you about speaking at your church. Go to www.findjulie.com for a list of some of her favorite topics and a sample of her speaking. Julie is The Christian Pulse Health and Fitness Team Leader. © 2010