Worry. We know we shouldn’t do it as much as we do. But we do it anyhow.
Almost anytime the topic of worry comes up in conversation someone (usually with really good intentions) will toss Philippians 4:6-7 into the mix:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Good verses. I believe them. However…sometimes hearing them is a bit like someone telling you to not think about a pink gorilla. Go ahead. Give it a shot. Stop reading, close your eyes, and don’t think about a pink gorilla.
How’d that work out for you?
Now, multiply that times 10 (or 100) and that’s what it’s like to look into the face of all the uncertainty ahead and have someone say, “Hey, don’t be anxious about anything.”
What if I told you that God put four words in the Bible that actually make “not being anxious” a possibility?
Well…He did. And He didn’t hide them. In fact, they are the four words that immediately precede the verses quoted above. Here they are:
The Lord is near.
Those four words are a game-changer.
So much of our worrying happens because we forget this truth. Or more accurately — we forget to focus on it. We don’t consciously keep at the forefront of our thinking that the Lord is near.
When we recognize His presence, focus on His presence, meditate on His presence, and abide in His presence, worry begins to fade.