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There is always a reason to worry.

There is always a reason to worry.

Did they ever tell you that there was “no reason to worry”? Then someone has told you a lie. There will always be a reason to worry. Just like there will always be reason to lie, to steal or to cheat, but you refuse to do those despite the many ‘reasons’ to, in the same way, we are the ones who will choose not to worry despite a hundred and one reasons to be worried.

They say “worrying does not change anything”. That is another lie. Worry actually changes everything. It moves you from the advantaged position of being able to receive solutions to whatever troubles are there, and puts you in the disadvantaged position where neither your reasoning, logic or faith is able to work. So in reality, worrying changes everything, actually, it messes up everything.

We normally would get worried about something that is seemingly out of our control. Of course, if it were within your power to change, you would jump at it and immediately get it fixed. But once the situation looks a little bit out of control, we get worried, then fear creeps in and suddenly without realizing it, we are paralyzed and unable to think, act or even believe for a solution.

So what do you do when the reasons to worry begin to show up around you? Simple, the same thing you do when there is a reason to do something bad that you have decided you would not do. Refuse to get worried. Yes, refuse. Remember, you are in control of your mind. You are the gateman of your heart, otherwise you wouldn’t be told to guard it with all diligence.[1] You ultimately allow whatever gets in there. Worry comes knocking, and there are legitimate reasons to let her creep in. It’s fine for her to knock. It’s fine for you to observe and take note of the several reasons to be worried: unpaid bills? a Sick child? Your angry landlord? An exam you need to write the 6th time? Your crumbling business? An unreasonable spouse? That disobedient child? The job you lost, or the one you have been searching for without result? That addiction that has refused to die? Getting older without any marriage proposal? That giant project you cannot even begin? Or uncertainty and un-clarity at a critical life junction? They are all legitimate reasons to worry, and really, we are never free from all of them. While you cannot control some of these situations, there is one thing you can control – yourself, your heart and your emotions.

Remember that the ship lives in and around water from the day it is built. But the moment water gets into it, it sinks. It’s not the troubles around us that get us down; it is the troubles that get into us that take us down.

So what do you do when worry comes knocking? Simple – refuse to open the door. If she found the door open and walked in, simply walk her out and shut the door. Just like you don’t fight darkness by screaming or with weapons, but by simply bringing in light, you only fight worry by introducing the antidote to worry – hope, joy and peace. These are anti-worry pills that will keep you immune and protected from being weighed down by the many troubles around you. But interestingly, these are not bought in the market or a drugstore; they are acquired through a relationship.

Someone once said, “You have so much load, and you really do not have strength to carry those loads. Come to me if you care, I can take away those loads and give you freedom, and you will enjoy amazing rest.[2] Hope, Joy and Peace are only found through a relationship with Jesus. But what happens when you are already in this relationship and yet you don’t seem to enjoy those? It still comes back to choice. You chose to look away. What you fix your eyes on will get into your heart. You took your eyes off His promises and gazed upon your troubles, then your troubles became more real than His promises and their voices became louder than the voice of hope in you, and suddenly the doors of worry flung open and you began to sink into despair. Here is what to do: go remind yourself of His promises. Remind yourself that He said “I would never leave you nor forsake you.”[3] Remember that you only begin to sink when you take your gaze off Him and begin to look at the wind and waves, and even after you have begun to sink, He is only an arm stretch away.

So what do you do? The storms are real. The wind is real. The troubles are real. The person telling you “there is no reason to worry” is not in touch with reality. There are reasons to worry. But at the same time, His promises are true. His word never fails. He is right there with you, waiting for you to turn your eyes away from the winds and back to Him, and simply utter the words “I am sinking, save me.” Then will you experience that outstretched arm that will reach out to you, and hold you firm, and yes, the wind may not cease, the sea may continue to rage, the boat may still be far away, but you will see and experience yourself walking on water. While others sink because they allowed worry into their boats, you will walk on water, and experience true hope, joy and peace. The reason it is called “the peace that passes understanding”[4] is because everyone looking at you cannot find or see any reason for you to be peaceful, joyful and hopeful. All they see are reasons to be worried and downcast. But you know, it doesn’t matter what they think or see, it only matters what you see and believe. You cannot control them; take charge of the only person you can control – yourself.

May you in the midst of troubles enjoy this peace, joy and hope that only comes from that relationship. And may you be kind enough to share it with others.

[1] Proverbs 4:23

[2] Matthew 11:28

[3] Deuteronomy 31:8

[4] Philippians 4:7

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