Learning to Give My Worries Over to God



I remember a sermon at my old church, a few years ago. Our pastor was preaching on worry and our need to give our anxieties over to God.

He used the example of an email. "It's like if you get an email, and instead of opening it up and reading it, you immediately forward it on to God. You don't even look at it, you just forward it on."

It sounds great. I loved the imagery it gave to the situation.

But I wrestled with it for weeks, months probably, as I asked again and again: "How do I not open it?! How do I forward it on and forget about it?!"

I remember the desire burning within me to not let worries and anxieties run my life as they had for more than two decades. I remember talking on the phone to a friend, beseeching them about this mystery of how to just "give it over" to God.

It was something I could not wrap my head around.

Finally, I determined to memorize Philippians 4:6-7, which counseled me: "Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

That was the key, for me, to understand this Christian catchphrase of "giving my worries over to God."

It isn't enough to just stuff them in an envelope and forget about them, because that's not the way worrying works. But praying about them—even if it just looks like telling God everything he already knows about what we're feeling and what we want—somehow ushers in his peace in quite a mysterious way while we wait on his answers.

In sharing these worries and anxieties with him in prayer, he gently reminds us that it's not all up to us, that he is guiding us, that he intervenes in even the most mundane of interactions, that he knows what he is doing and what he is allowing, that our character matters more to him than our convenience.

And we slip into that place of trust where we know that God is bigger than our circumstances and that it's all safely in his hands. We stop worrying because we know that we can trust God with whatever is happening and however it turns out.

It has been a learning process for me, this "giving it over to God," that has happened only gradually over the past few years. I'm not quite sure exactly how it happened or when. But God was gracious in leading me through this great mystery of learning how to let him have these things.

Of course, I still find myself running frantic with worries, even over the most trivial of things. Again and again, I have to admonish myself to give words to these worries, to whisper them to the heavens and let them soar up there to stay.

So I curl up and tell God what's worrying me. I ask him, sometimes over and over again, to take care of this for me. To settle my heart. To take this worry from my hands. I don't know how to do it on my own. I don't know if I even can do it on my own. But I know that he can—and he will—take and bear that burden for me.

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8 comments:

  1. this is such a great post! I love that visual of "forwarding our worries on to God". I love that idea and I think that is exactly what it means when we are called to "cast our cares and anxieties on Him".
    and thanks for the comment on my blog! :)

    Megan
    letterstorome.blogspot.com

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  2. Beautiful post! I needed to read that this morning! Thank you!

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  3. Oh Carmen... This is such a wonderful post! The words are so encouraging! Love the verse. It's now one of my favorites!

    Thanks for sharing this! It helped me a lot.
    Because sometimes I also have a problem with it.

    Thanks for this!

    God bless you and have a nice day!

    xo, Nina

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  4. @ Megan - Absolutely!

    @ Britt - So glad to hear that. Thanks so much :)

    @ Nina - I figure some of these really "Christian" things aren't quite as easy as we make them to be, so I wanted to share my experiences grappling with "giving things over to God." I'm glad I was able to share that and it be an encouragement. That's one of my top favorite verses, too!

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  5. Wow. I seriously was lead to this. I just gave birth to baby #2 for me and ever since baby #1 I have had MAJOR anxieties about the world and raising my children it such craziness, and like thoughts of ever getting a house etc... this was so well thought and written out in such an special way that made it easy for me to understand. Thank you so so much! I'm a new reader and found you through pintrest posts of my friends! I'm so glad! Thank you! Your faith has strengthened mine!

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  6. Cassandra - I'm so glad that this post proved encouraging to you! Just another proof that the Lord is always looking to show us his love and quiet our hearts--even in the littlest things, like the blogs we read :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. God lead me to your post tonight... Thank you!

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  8. Hi Carmen,

    (I just found you via Crosswalk)

    Thank you for sharing this "Blesson" on giving worries over to God. This is a lesson that I have had to relearn as God takes me through the various seasons of life. Right now as a late 50-something mother of teen boys, the worries are different - but praise God, he is still the same loving caring Father who wants to carry our burdens for us.

    God bless you as you continue to share with us.

    Marilyn

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