Here I am, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. No sleep. Body still, mind racing. Panic building.
I forgot to contact Pat today. She’s so sick and probably needed me.
Did my daughter realize she hurt my feelings with that comment?
What if I don’t make my deadline?
I should have exercised today.
Recently I began to meditate on Philippians 4:6a: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (NLT). Did the Apostle Paul really mean not to worry about anything? Is that even possible? Isn’t worry just part of human nature?
Yes, worry is part of our human nature. Unfortunately, when sin entered the world, emotions like worry did too. However, our fallen human nature always clarifies what being separated from God looks like. And it often looks like fear.
As God’s beloved children, we are called to faith, not fear. Faith says, “God is in charge of my life; I will trust Him, even when circumstances might suggest He’s not there. I believe God loves me and knows what is best for me.” Faith always crowds out fear.
My heart longs to live in faith; however, at times this is difficult. But here’s the key: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
If I haven’t made time to hear from God through His Word, I find my prayers being more of a monologue of fear-based worry.
But when I make time to listen to God, I’m reminded of His promises and I become familiar with His voice. As a result, my prayers really do change from panic to praise. In bed at night, a dialogue evolves (no longer a monologue). When I turn to God with my concerns, I can hear His response. As John 10:27a tells us, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them …” (ESV).
God’s Word reminds us to put the kingdom of God first and the things we need will be ours (Matthew 6:33, ESV). In other words, when I devote myself to God first, all the rest will sort itself out, and this brings peace.
What is most pressing in your life right now? Whatever that is, put God’s Word there instead. Replace worry with the truth of God’s love and power. Then we can trust that God will do as He says: “keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed” on Him (Isaiah 26:3a, ESV).
As I think about God’s promises, panic turns to praise, praise turns to peace, and peace turns to sleep. I begin to understand what Paul meant when he said, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand” (Philippians 4:7a, NLT).
It is possible to experience God’s peace. When we learn to cast our cares on God and trust Him to handle them, faith replaces fear. Worry sees problems, but faith sees the God who can handle the problems.
God’s Word changes how we cast our cares. When we choose to cast them onto Him instead of into the air, we’ll find comfort in His promises. Then maybe we can finally get a good night’s sleep.
by Nancy McGuirk
Originally posted at Proverbs31 Ministries.