Jan 5, 2012

worry is like a rocking chair . . .

I would love to share some beautiful words from Linda Dillow's book/Bible study, Calm My Anxious Heart. A beautiful excerpt from an earlier chapter was added on Dec. 7th titled "teacup theology" that I also recommend.  My oft worried heart and mind have learned a lot about letting go of anxieties and finding contentment that comes from trusting God through this book. 


So, without further ado, here are quotes + small excerpts from the chapter focused on that horrible 5-letter word: worry.


Chapter Eight: Worry is Like A Rocking Chair 


". . . it will give you something to do but won't get you anywhere"


"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith. The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety." - George Mueller.


"All our fret and worry are caused by calculating without God"


"When we worry, we're saying, 'God can't'. If we are walking in anxiety, we are not walking in faith" (p 116).


A working definition    


The word worry comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word which literally means "to strangle or choke". Linda notes that "the stranglehold of worry keeps a woman from enjoying a life of contentment and peace. Anxiety is that which divides and distracts the soul, that which diverts us from present duty to weary calculations of how to meet conditions that may never arrive . . . Worry has more to do with perspective than with circumstances. In similar situations, one woman may be anxious another peaceful . . . The French philosopher Montaigne said, "My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened."  When we spend precious time worrying about what might happen, anxiety becomes negative baggage that weighs us down, saps our energy, and leaves us ineffective"(p.120)  


Worry is destructive 


"Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength" (p 121). Not only does worry and stress cause weakened physical wellness (research has shown increased vulnerability to infections, GI problems, heart attacks, strokes, etc) but also cause disastrous effects to mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. 


Is anxiety a sin? 


Jesus spoke about anxiety in the Sermon on the Mount, specifically in Matt. 6:25-34. Jesus commanded us not to worry five times in the ten verses. I think it is pretty clear what His thoughts are.


"Worry says: 'I don't trust God, I don't believe in His ability to handle my child, my marriage, my health, my job, or my loneliness.' Oswald Chambers called worry infidelity: 'It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think God can look after the details of our lives" (p 123). 
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast {unload, hurl, throw} all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7. 
We often hear the second part of this verse, but not the starting of it. We must humble ourselves before God's mighty hand. This means "surrender of our total being -- intellect, emotion, will, plans, and judgements. It is relinquishing everything . . . yielding to God as the Blessed Controller of whatever situation or person is causing me anxiety" (p 124)


Our tomorrows 


George MacDonald: "It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It's when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourselves so, my friends. If you find yourselves so loaded, remember this: it is your own doing, not God's. He begs you to leave the future to Him and mind the present."


F.B. Meyer: "This is the blessed life -- not anxious to see far in front, nor eager to choose the path, but quietly following behind the Shepherd, one step at a time. The Shepherd was always out in front of the sheep. He was down in front. Any attack upon them had to take him in account. Now God is down in front. He is in the tomorrows. It is tomorrow that fills us with dread; God is there already. All the tomorrows of our life have to pass Him before they can get to us."


Wow. Read those two quotes again. What amazing truth!


freedom from worry is a process


Lastly, Linda Dillow explains how to start this process:

  1. Acknowledge that anxiety is a sin and confess it as such to God.
  2. Yield to God's sovereignty. Thank Him that He is the Blessed Controller of your problems.
  3. Choose to cast your anxiety on God.
  4. Choose to trust God with your tomorrows and life for today.

There are so many more books and quotes that deal with worry. Calm My Anxious Heart is just one of many (although I believe, a great one!)  I'd love to learn from anyone who'd like to share what has helped them on their journey to freedom from anxiety. 

P.S. this book can be found here for only $5! 

P.P.S the post dearly beloved from last April fits in with the theme of this post. It is a beautiful excerpt from David Wilkerson's book by the same title. 

In His everlasting arms,
Elena



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Elle Alice