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Listen while you read: "O Word Of God Incarnate"1 (Lyrics)
Proverbs 12:25a – Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down. (AMP)
Worry and anxiety are bedfellows that often show up together.
Kelita sat in her car, gunning the engine but going nowhere. There was good reason. The gearshift was in neutral. She burned fuel and fogged up the garage in which the car rested, but she remained in place.
Hearing the noise, her father finally came out of the door and asked, "What are you doing, honey?"
"Trying to get to work," she huffed.
"But you have to put the shifter in gear to make the car move," he said.
Seems like a silly scenario — and it is — but often I repeat Kelita's mistake by worrying. Worry and anxiety will keep me in the garage, burning fuel, but going nowhere. In the process, I will also pollute the world around me, accomplishing nothing beneficial.
In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, "Do not worry", and the wisest man who ever lived said that anxiety would weigh my heart down. But situations in my life and in the world make both easy to do. And since they are first cousins, the first is normally followed closely by the second.
Worry and anxiety in small doses are good — not detrimental. If I had such an attitude that I never worried or was anxious in the least, I'd sit around and not properly respond to situations. If I didn't worry a little about crime, homelessness, abuse, and corruption, I wouldn't respond to opportunities to affect these circumstances as Jesus instructs me to do.
On the other hand, too much worry and anxiety will disturb me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The human body is connected, not compartmentalized. What touches one part of me distresses the other parts. When I'm emotionally unbalanced, I'll experience physical consequences.
Remembering that God is in control and is a loving God helps me to manage worry and anxiety so that they don't afflict me negatively. As the sovereign ruler, God controls world events and the details of my life. As a loving God, He won't allow anything into my life that He won't give me the strength to face, conquer, and learn from.
Let's not allow worry and anxiety to keep us in the garage. God's shoulders are strong enough to carry us wherever He wants us to go.
Prayer: Father, we trust You to help us endure whatever You allow or bring into our lives. Amen.
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Thanks, Martin. I’ve been stuck in that garage lately!
Another excellent devotional today. Thanks for sharing your heart.
Grateful for this timely January reminder, Martin. Helps me. Love to you on the journey.
Good morning Martin,
Good words, but to be honest, sometimes it is hard to let go of something which is bothering us.
Thank you for writing.
Martin, this was such a great way to explain how futile being full of worry and anxiety are. Keeping us in the garage, burning fuel… going nowhere… and in the process ‘polluting’ the world around us… doing nothing beneficial! That was such a clear visual comparison… easy to remember! Thanks!
What a hoot! Thanks for this enlightening devotional. Read it as I sat chewing my nails…a bad habit? Yes. Am I worried? Anxious? Fearful? Just a wee bit…well, maybe more than that. Radiation treatments for cancer make me aware of how fragile life is… but our Lord God is able… especially when we’re not. Thanks again for the reminder. Blessings.
Thank you. This came at a good time. My sister-in-law and husband cause stress for me. Always, not sure if just the way they are and me being how am, take things personally or if lies from devil. But thankful for Christ who helps me through. Praying things will not bother me and to just stay focused on what is important. Thank you.
Very good devotional. Yes, it is so easy to get overly anxious about things we think about or get involved with, but how easily we can calm down and see resolutions clearer when we take time to turn to the Lord in prayer. Time spent in prayer and faith in God’s grace and mercy are great methods to reduce feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. God is so good!
Blessings for your meaningful devotional.
Worry and anxiety are the children of fear. The opposite of fear is faith. I have had to deal with deep seated fear in my life and for me, meeting it head on with faith is the only way I know – affirming God Is Who He says He is, and I am His child and secure in His hand. Turning to God in prayer with affirmation and waiting for His word to me, I become not a worrier but a warrior, a simple change of vowels. Detecting fear immediately, facing it head on, and declaring my faith in the One who is able to do abundantly more than we could ask or think. (Eph 3:20). Don’t worry, have faith and rejoice!
When I get anxious and stressed I take a couple of deep breaths and mentally connect with the Lord.
Great feeling, when I remember to do it!
Dear Martin Wiles,
Thank you for the devotional, especially for: “As the sovereign ruler, God controls world events and the details of my life. As a loving God, He won’t allow anything into my life that He won’t give me the strength to face, conquer, and learn from.”
Thank you for the reminder. Please pray for me.
Keep writing for Jesus’ sake.