Does that cough mean my son has Covid? I bet I forgot to lock the door. What if I can’t get enough volunteers to help me? I wonder if my mother remembered to get her prescription refilled.
Does your mind ever go off on tangents, worrying about people and things over which you have little or no control? If so you’re not alone. Many of us worry about the what ifs and allow our minds to go down the path of imagining the worse-case scenario. In addition to the fact that studies have shown that most of the things people worry about never occur, therefore unnecessarily causing us stress and anxiety, it ignores the reality that God is in charge and can help us handle whatever we confront.
So what should we do when we find ourselves worrying about things? First, recognize that worrying about a situation not only does nothing to change your ability to manage it, but can deplete your physical, mental, and spiritual abilities to manage it.
Consider the reason for your worry. Perhaps past experiences or traits of yourself and others have shown that there have been problems (e.g., leaving the door unlocked, being short of volunteers for a church project, a family member forgetting to refill a prescription). There may be a need to develop new approaches to preventing or managing these problems, but worrying contributes nothing to that effort.
Look to the Lord and trust that He wants the best for you. He tells us do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6). He wants us to depend on Him, understand that He wants the best for us, and to trust that He will help us. Pray for His guidance and support.
Work on changing your way of thinking. Rather than going through the mental checklist of everything that could go wrong, think positively. As Paul advised, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8). God is involved in every aspect of our lives and we show our faith in Him by trusting He can get us through any situation.
Every day brings its share of challenges that can burden us with worry and anxiety. While we do want to be responsible, plan, think, and take appropriate actions, we needn’t burden ourselves with the what-ifs and endless possibilities. Trust that the Lord will be with us and provide what we need to navigate what we face. Remember his advice:
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.