Have you ever participated in an experiment where you were given a phrase like “yellow car” and then were asked to put it out of your mind? But the harder you tried, the more yellow dominated your thoughts. This kind of exercise shows that we can never forget something by concentrating on it. Anxious thoughts which come with the cares of life are like that. How many of us spend sleepless nights trying to solve complex problems and all we accomplish is fixing them more firmly in our minds. Paul knew all about the thought process, and found a way to deal with worry. He tells us about it in the book of Philippians. While occupying a jail cell, awaiting trial and the eventual sentence of either life or death he encouraged his readers to be joyful. “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” This sounds like a man who found the key to worry. He simply gave the instruction to turn them over to the Father. Possibly his discovery came by reflecting upon the admonition given to the disciples by Jesus. “Do not worry about the necessities of life, because your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” From this we learn according to David McCasland that “the way to forget our worries is to concentrate on the goodness and loving care of God, not on the problems that plague us.” David Sper agrees and wrote the following poem:
When we give all our cares to God
Our worries will depart
He gives to us a peace of mind
That calms our anxious heart
This prescription will always work. Focusing on worry will bury you but giving the same attention to God will unburden you. Everyday each of us is handed a running list of things that can preoccupy our mind and drive us to the precipice of insanity. However, on those occasions when you decide to jump make sure you leap in the direction of God. By doing so you will have no problem dealing with worry!