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Zapped to the Core by Worry

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” (Corrie ten Boom)

I drug myself out of bed, unwrapping myself from another fitful, sleepless night. Worry had robbed me of blessed rest and now to face the day—teaching six Bible classes, preparing a final exam, and somehow getting supper on the table—I wanted to quit before I began.

What was wrong with me?

It was ten years ago and I remember it like yesterday. My mind was filled with the sorrow of loss and the terror of the future. Worry had become my closest companion and its fellowship was completely robbing me of strength. I thought about that dark season yesterday when a woman contacted me with questions about her tendency to worry.

Worry is a natural default position.

Trust is a supernatural “rest position.”

What I mean by worry being my natural “default position” is that I will gravitate toward worry unless I intentionally put forth effort to go in a different direction. When I default to worry, I am not resting, but actually I’m sucked into a downward-strength-depleting spiral.

Worry happens when I’m filled with fear because of the frightening unknowns. The only antidote to that kind of terror is an abiding confidence in something or someone who is in a position to positively resolve the unknowns.

Experiencing trust happens as I become better acquainted with God’s character.

In April, I shared with you that my Scripture focus for the year is:

[box]Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)[/box]

Do you ever read that passage with a bit of a cynical attitude? Maybe you’re even tempted to doubt this could happen. Ever feel like saying: “Yeah, ‘easy and light’ . . . right . . .”?

I have.

I’ve struggled thinking, “I’m trying to find rest in You, I’m trying to experience that easy yoke, but this is really hard right now!”

Ten years ago my nights were filled with horrifying fears and crushing disappointment. I desperately wanted to find that place of “rest” that this passage talks about, but my world had been rocked and I was shaken to the core. Worry was my default position.

When my mind is filled with worry, what am I doing?

  • Worry focuses on future unknowns.

  • Worry invents future events and imagines a non-reality.

  • Worry is fueled by fear and robs me of hope.

  • Worry’s basis is the evidence of past painful events.

  • Worry wears away my confidence in God’s faithful character.

(Obviously this list is incomplete. Feel free to add to it in the comments below.)

I’ve still got much to learn, but I want you to know, I’ve found that place of rest—even in the midst of another horrific life event. This time, I’ve found that His promise really is true. There is a sweet place of security in His yoke.

The key is found in what Jesus said just before He talked about climbing into the yoke. He said “Learn from Me . . .” If I will allow Him to lead me and teach me, I will learn how to have peace while walking through crisis.

Today, I’ve laid out a description of what worry looks like, tomorrow we’ll continue looking at worry and consider the battle plan for worry.

Want to add to my list?

4 Comments

  • Katie

    Worry blinds me from the Truth and tempts me to be unsubmissive to my husband. And many a time and currently I’m caught up in the hold of worrying, along with my other daily challenges. I’m alone and hurting right now. Feeling less than worthy to approach His throne.

  • Nicole Vidal

    Worry falsely declares that what is true is a lie. Truth from 2 Corinthians 12:9 “…My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness…”

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dearest Katie ~

    I am so sorry for the pain you are currently experiencing and the sense of loss and loneliness. Let me assure you, no matter what you’ve done or how you feel, God desires for you to run to Him! I pray you will reject the enemy’s lies that keep you from approaching God’s throne of grace with the half-truth that you are “less than worthy.” None of us are “worthy” in ourselves to approach Him, but He calls us to come to Him, to confess our sins, and because of what Christ has done for us–if we are “in Christ” (see Eph. 1) we can come to His throne on that basis–“in Christ” through the work of Christ.

    I hope you’ll read through this passage in your own Bible: Hebrews 4:13–16

    “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

    We are called to come to the throne of grace BECAUSE we have needs, because we cannot live for God on our own, we need the mercy, grace, and sanctifying work that only He can bring! So my first word to you is: RUN!! Run to God’s throne, cry out to Him for help.

    Praying for you, dear friend ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    So true, Nicole ~

    I am certainly in need of that grace today. I desire for His power and glory to be seen through my weakness . . . and I’m feeling pretty weak today. It was good to come to the website this morning and see your comment reminding me of 2 Cor. 12:9. I needed that today 🙂

    Thank you for leaving a good word here!