When I was young I enjoyed the pleasure of Springtime mud. Stomping around in the puddle until it holds a stickiness that taunts you to step in. Wet clay is threatening to swallow your rubber boots. Imagining it’s a bottomless pit of quicksand just challenges you to go further in. And then it happens, you lift your leg just to discover that the boot stayed behind. No matter how much you wiggle and yank you’re stuck in the middle of a mud puddle.
Our childhood mud puddles are minor compared to what we can find ourselves stuck in as adults. My biggest adult puddle is worry, nothing puts my energy and my faith at a standstill faster. Worry keeps us stuck with “What If?” questions, “What if I lose my job? What if the test results are positive? What if they get hurt?” The questions just pull us downward into a mire of anxiety. The deeper we sink, the more we focus on ourselves and our problems. The sticky mess makes it difficult to step out of the past and into what God has for us. When we’re at a standstill with God it’s easy to begin throwing sludge at others. We can choose to stomp around in the puddle of worry and find ourselves sucked into a fear that God never intended or we can choose to use the onset of worry to drives us towards prayer.
In Philippians 4:6&7 Paul admonishes us to take our worries to God in prayer;
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.”
Our worry has a purpose to drive us to prayer. The kind of prayers that squelch your worries are the prayers that are soaked in thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness in the past, taking time to reflect on how God has been faithful to us through the years. Then, you move on to your current circumstances, and begin to declare God’s faithfulness in your life right now. Proclaim the promises of God from His Word regarding whatever is troubling you.
Finally, wait on God to speak to you regarding the future. What is God’s plan regarding the situation? What does this circumstance look like from His perspective? Now we sit quietly in God’s presence and allow him to speak to us concerning our worries. Give him time to reveal his preferred future concerning the matter. It’s in our moments of stillness that God is able to reveal Himself to us.
I remember my thoughts attending a prayer meeting the day before boarding a flight to the states, I was consumed with worry over a matter stateside. I hadn’t mentioned the concern to anyone. Following the meeting, a young lady walked up to me and shared that she had been was praying for me that is past week and the Holy Spirit had given her a word for me “You don’t have to worry about…” I was shocked and I knew she had no way of knowing the details of my concern. This was an answer from God. I boarded the flight with a refreshed light-heartedness, knowing that God had it under His control. This specific Word from God continues to comfort me till this day and has become a guide as I bring my petitions before God. My worry turns to peace when God reveals to me the victory that is ahead. It’s that peace that guards my thoughts from returning to the mud puddle of worry. Verse 7 of the same chapter teaches,
“And the peace God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We all know that our worry affects our home, our church and our own peace of mind. Let’s use our worries to motivate us to thankful prayer for what God has done in the Past, Present and will do in the Future. Then we can rest in peace, pray with understanding and enjoy watching the hand of God at work.
edited by Lydia King