Worry affects our daily life causing disruptions in our sleep, affects our relationships and it actually causes a stress response in our body. When we are anxious we put our body in a stressed state making it go into a “fight or flight” response. This means our sympathetic nervous system is on, which is designed to only be used in short amounts of times to help us in times of danger. It is not supposed to be working during all of our waking hours, as it does when we are anxious. When our “fight or flight” response is active too long it which means hormones like cortisol are released which can lead to dizziness, fatigue, digestive disorders, headaches, irritability, nausea, sweating and other health ailments. Taking some time out with God is a great way to reduce stress. You can pray, mediate over His word, declare His word over your life and your situation to bring His peace back into your life or even try this little exercise below I learned from my church.
Exercise to try:
Take some time were you are now to close your eyes. Picture a bag. What does the bag look like? Take all of your worries and your anxiety and put it in the bag. One by one taking everything money, health, relationships, family and putting it into the bag. Then, picture Jesus, what is He doing? What does He look like? Now take your bag and hand it to Jesus. What does He do with it? How does He view your problems? Does He want you to keep carrying those problems? Ask Him if He wants to give you anything in return?
His word is filled with encouragement to get rid of worry and examples of our Father providing because you are not alone in your worry. The apostles had to write it to the churches to keep them on track, Jesus told parables about worrying and giving good gifts. You have tons of company, but with reaffirming yourself of God’s goodness and power you do not need to live in it. I am not saying it will be easy, but I am saying it is a burden you do not need to carry.
I know I have to continually hand things over to God. I always try to carry things and take on worries that are not for me to carry. I have to remind myself of Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” I do not know how you feel about the Message version of the Bible, but I have been really loving it. I have enjoyed reading the same bible verse in the different translations it seems to help me get an understanding that I can apply to my life. That being said here is the MSG version of Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” I know I need to remember to keep close company with Him and it is when I stray away that I find myself under more anxiety and worries. It is not that I necessarily stopped praying or going to church it is more about our relationship. I may be doing everything, but I am with holding things and not coming to Him with everything. When I am carrying things I should not be carrying, I am not live the fullness of life that He has for me. He does not give anything heavy, my life should not have major burdens and stress. He is the one who is equipped to carry those burdens and anxieties not me.
I am sure some of you are going through some real darkness and just asking Him to carry it or take care of it may not be enough to remove it, but there needs to be a trust in His sovereign power and remind ourselves how much He loves you, and cares for you. He has a plan to do good in your life. 1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” He truly cares for you and values you. He wants to be in relationship with you and He wants to be the one to bare your burdens, that why He came down to rescue you, to be your savior to be your everything. Continue to rest in His word. Matthew 6:25-26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” You have value, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:16).
Rest and trust in His word and His power in your life