I used to be one of the worst worry-warts. There’s always something you can find to worry about – whether it’s going to rain tomorrow and you hate to drive in the rain, or it’s 3:00 am. and the new driver in the house is not home yet.
Once I had a mini spirit-breaker over a job change. It wasn’t the work that I wanted to do or studied for in school; I was transferred to another department that I had no interest in. I worried about everything connected to this job for 9 or 10 hours a day. What if I quit? What if I didn’t succeed in something I had no passion for? What if I made a lot of mistakes? What if I get fired? What if . . . ?
What are the odds of worrisome thoughts actually coming true? Statistics tell us that the probability of things we worry about that won’t ever happen: a whopping 45%; reliving regrettable events that happened in the past: 25%; unnecessary worrying about health: 10%; and nagging, miscellaneous worries: 10%.
So around 90 percent of worries are pure self-induced stressful, unnecessary time-consumers. The remaining 10%, are actual issues that may have merit to give thought to or concern about . .
“Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.” ~Author Unknown
During a more-than-usually stressful peak in my hell-on-earth job, I asked a supporter for advice on what to do. She asked me back, “Is it a life or death situation?” And although it felt like it was, it truly wasn’t. No. Then she asked, “Will this be as important 6 months from now?” And again, I said, no, it probably would not. And she replied with the cliché, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and everything is small stuff. ” This advice was helpful to me in dealing with the day to day problems. But when, at times, the stress increased, I asked another Support Person to help me – a Heavenly One. In prayer. I asked God to take this cup from me if it were His will.
Prayers are sometimes answered through other persons or events (this happens a lot to me; I believe there are no coincidences). That next Sunday, the pastor’s sermon caught my attention. He suggested that when stress is overwhelming you, go to a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Close your eyes and visualize all the stress factors in your life that you are dealing with. Lumped together, they are overwhelming. They would be to anyone. But — God tells us: “Fret not yourself…..” (Psalm 37:1)
Take them, these ‘stress-thorns in your side’ — one at a time, and mentally picture giving each one individually to God. Visualize the problem ‘thorn’ and extend each one to God, literally with outstretched hands, asking Him to take it from you and to handle it from now on. Visualize God taking the worry from you. And don’t take it back. He wants to help you. As you give each worry to Him, remember to thank Him for relieving you of this burden. Consider it a ‘done deal’. Take a deep breath and relax. It’s not your problem anymore to worry about. It’s in His Hands. And you will be amazed how God will give you peace. Our Ultimate Father in Heaven promises us this:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:31-34)
P.S. God did take the cup from me – and replaced it with the best job I ever had.
© Marie Coppola, Revised March 2015