Have you ever been worried half to death? Someone was telling me how every night lately he “racks his brain,” trying to figure out how to get a better job, or make the partial one he has now work out better. His thoughts always meet dead ends, so he lays there with his mind working overtime (literally), stressed and sleepless, hounded by the futility of an endless anxiety. Worried sick. We have probably all experienced it at one time or another.
I used to joke that I was born the son of a card-carrying worrier, so I came about my worried ways honestly. But that is not my real heritage (or yours). If we believe in Jesus, we are the sons and daughters of the Least Worried Person in the universe. As a young Christian, I could sometimes break the grip of my worries by looking away from my problems up to Jesus, “looking” to see if He was wringing His Hands over my troubles. He never was!
The Power of Inward Sight
That imagined vision helped. Why? Because worry is a heart issue–and the heart “sees” truth best by seeing true images. This is surely one reason the Lord says “Look to Me and be saved” (Isaiah 45:22). Our heart has an “eye” and it will always be worried by present or perceived problems, if it isn’t “seeing” something to make it calm down.
Over time, the Lord gave me a number of very helpful images. He showed me that worry is like me going to the filing cabinet of my mind looking for the answer to a problem. Sometimes I find the answer in the files and the problem gets solved so the worry goes away. This “hooks” me on thinking my mind can come up with all the answers–a major mistake! That’s because there are always going to be those times when the file has been misplaced (forgotten beyond retrieval by me), or just isn’t there (it is known only to God).
A Lesson from the Wasteland
That’s when worry tries to intensify. To counter this, He “advised” me to go through my mind the way I (finally) learned to surf through TV channels–if you don’t find it the first time, it’s not there. You know how this works. You find a great show to watch almost magically on the first scroll through, or not at all. If you keep going through the channels, you end up settling for something that never satisfies. And you end up feeling wasted and depleted by watching it. The Lord simply wasn’t into it with you.
Now, apply this to worry. A concern hits you and you think though it to resolve it, but nothing comes up out of the recesses of your mind. Recognize such moments as a message from God that the idea you need is not in you, it’s in Him. He alone has the answer; and He is not releasing it to you at present. Pray and wait, trust Him and go back to living like a contented child in the meantime. Stop stressing out over what you can’t figure out. The only true “know it all” is God. All the rest of us are impostors. Psalm 131 expresses this so well:
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. Psalm 131 NASB
It is pointless to keep rummaging through the files! That is like putting your brain on the proverbial rack of medieval torture chambers (another image and one we revert to when saying, “I racked my brain, but still couldn’t figure it out…”). We stretch, squeeze and torment our brains demanding that they cough up the needed ideas–like a cruel interrogator saying, “Give me the information I need and I’ll let you go free!”
We get tricked out by the enemy thinking that we really do know, or should know, or should be able to figure it out. Watch out. Self is not our Savior. Jesus is! And do you know something? I never yet have seen Him wringing His Hands….
For more on releasing every care to Him in prayer, see “Praying Through to Peace” at our website for healing, healingstreamsusa.org.