We’ve all felt its effects: dry mouth, racing heart, stomach upset, and irritability. These are the symptoms of worry. In its deception, worry leads its victims down a path to nowhere–rolling the same concern over in the mind obsessively with no answer in sight.
J. Arthur Rank knew the effects of worry firsthand. A successful British film producer and Baron, and the founder of the Religious Film Society, he decided to do his worrying on Wednesdays. A known “worry wart” who suffered from a stomach ulcer, Rank dealt with the worry that invaded his thoughts by jotting the concern down on a slip of paper and placing it in his worry box. Regardless of when the worry presented itself, Rank would wait for Wednesday to come before opening the box and looking over his concerns again. He soon saw a pattern: most of the things he had added to his list had resolved themselves in the days leading to Wednesday!
Studies show that over 90% of what we worry about never occurs, yet we end up with the racing heartbeat, upset stomach, and irritable behavior that generally cause more worry! Jesus has compassion on our condition, pointing out to us how fruitless and deceptive worry really is:
“Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:27
We cannot add one minute to our life by worrying about our circumstances. Instead, we risk harm to our physical health. We can even shorten our life when we choose to worry instead of trusting God with what we cannot change … Who better to consult when worry comes calling than our Great Physician, Who advises us to live one day at a time?
“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” Matthew 6:34
Worry is a thief, robbing us of the joy in today while we focus on the “maybe” of tomorrow. And all the while, God is already there, waiting for us to trust Him with all the things that cause us to worry. Today is the gift He has given to each of us–don’t let worry rob you of today!
If you had a worry box, what would you add to it today? Perhaps it would be filled with slips of paper, the concerns you can do nothing about on your own. Will you go to the Lord with your worries, trusting that He has the answer to each of them?