The Worry Alarm

22 07 2011

I am a worrier. I try not to be. I sink a little bit in my chair every time I read Paul’s advice to “not be anxious about anything.” (Philippians 4:6)  But worry happens. It sneaks up on me, grabbing my heart, pulling at my thoughts, and stealing my peace.

I could tell you that I come from a long line of worriers, and that would be true. I could settle for the reality that just about everyone I know wrestles with worry, content to be a part of the crowd. Worry almost seems inevitable, and I sometimes wonder if it is realistic to imagine living a life that doesn’t have worry worming around the edges.

The reality of learning to look like Jesus calls my heart to transform the way I look at worry. God wants to change how we respond to worry. In the moment when we begin to worry, we have a choice. We tend to see worry like a battering ram that pushes against our faith. Too often, we feel helpless to stop the pounding it gives us.

What if, instead, we viewed worry like an alarm clock? An alarm clock serves to wake us up. It redirects our attention and activity. It acts as a reminder and helps us stay on course. Craig Groeschel writes, “Worry then becomes a signal alerting us that it’s time to pray.”

My Jesus Resolution today is to let God speak through my worry. Worry doesn’t have to overwhelm me or overflow into everything I do. Worry can be an alarm that redirects my attention back to God. Rather than letting worry use up my energy, time, and hope, I can use worry to help me burrow more deeply into His grace and protection. I am going to choose to listen to worry only so far as it reminds me that I need to retune my heart to the voice of the Lord. I am going to let my burdens bend my knees in prayer. I am going to let anxiety unleash an avalanche of praise. I am going to let worry be an alarm clock that opens my eyes to God’s presence.


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