I used to think I was alone in my fight against worrying. But I’m not. I hear it from everyone: worry about kids, jobs, people’s opinions, body weight, weaknesses, parents, lack of control. The list goes on and on. It isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, the phrase “do not worry” is mentioned in the Bible 365 times. That’s one for every day of the year. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
My favorite mention of it is in Philippians, a short book that was originally a letter a man named Paul wrote from prison to a church in Philippi. He wrote, “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Sounds like an offensive pat answer “don’t worry, just pray about it.” But the key, I think, is the last phrase: thank him for all he has done. Worry tends to move us to think about all the “what ifs” and terrible possibilities. Thankfulness grounds us in the good that is actual. And there is an amazing change in our thinking when we move from the fears of what isn’t real to the gratitude for what is.