Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27
As I was I was leaving my parents house, my mom told me she was worried about me taking the bus back to my apartment. Then, continuing that chain of thought, she said that if I were driving instead, she would worry about me driving. I asked her if she would feel more at ease if I stayed in my room all day, never traveling for any reason. She paused for a moment before she responded: She said that if I did that, she would be worried that I wasn’t going out and meeting people!
None of us are immune from the effects of worrying. Excessive worry can prevent us from becoming the kind of people that God desires us to become. Especially in times of stress, or when we feel helpless to control the situations we find ourselves in, worries can creep into our minds. We know that this is unproductive, as the apostle Paul tells us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) But that’s easier said than done! How can we avoid worrying all the time like Jesus and Paul have admonished us?
Perhaps it’s time to consider the flip side of worrying. Rick Warren, in his popular book The Purpose Driven Life, explains that: “When you think about a problem over and over in your mind, that’s called worry. When you think about God’s Word over and over in your mind, that’s meditation. If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate!”
Meditation in this case isn’t some esoteric exercise practiced by monks living off in the hilltops or some kind of new-age mysticism. Instead, Christian meditation, rather than being an emptying of the mind, is instead a filling of our minds. This kind of meditation is focused thinking which directs us to God’s good and precious truth.
After Moses died, Joshua became his successor. Part of the advice God gave him as the new leader of the Israelites was: “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:8) This advice applies to us equally well today.
So the next time you feel worry creeping into your mind, chase it away by:
1) Remembering God’s promises
2) Turning our worries into meditation on His word and prayer.
“May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.” Psalm 104:34
Questions: What has been causing you to worry lately? How can you give these up these worries to God