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16 June - Worry Free

Today, I was chatting with one of our kids about watching their thought life and enjoying a worry-free day. They've been reading "battlefield for the mind for kids" by Joyce Meyer. Today we put into practice something we learnt from reading this book that I'd like to share because, let's face it, many of us struggle with worrying, anxious thoughts.

Sometimes if you've been battling, you can get to the end of the day and feel worn out because you've carried around many worries, stresses and concerns.

We may be worrying and anxious, but God can help us if we really want to get past these things. He encourages us to take one day at a time and to put some practical strategies in our lives to assist us in managing our day worry-free!

Our daily account

Imagine having a hundred dollars in a bank that symbolised your day. It was your account for the day, and whenever you worried or faced thoughts and concerns that depleted your resources, your account balance went down. You may be stressed about your kids in the morning and concerned about an appointment later in the day. These things take your account balance for the day down from $100 to $90. By 10 am, you have lowered your account by worrying about the bills you have to pay and the phone call you just had with a family member. By lunchtime, you are feeling further stressed about work, or what earth you will make for dinner, and getting to the shops in time, and your account balance for the day is now down to $40.

By dinner time, you've spent more time worrying and thinking about the pain in your stomach that's been bugging you, your lack of making time for yourself and of exercising, your weight, the kids, extended family, your partners work, the traffic on the way home, and a hundred and one other thoughts that you've allowed to flit through your mind. Not only have you used the $100 in your day's account, but you've also put it in deficit.

Sound extreme? But I wonder how many days in our week do we allow ourselves to worry and become anxious like that? How often do we live in deficit, running ourselves ragged mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually? It's not what God wants for us, and it's not the full and abundant life Jesus died to give us. (John 10:10)

So, what can we do to stop this cycle of worry, stress, and using up all our reserves? How can we go about making deposits in our day's account? What can we do instead of worrying and depleting our lives daily?

Here are a few thoughts on how to make some deposits instead of withdrawals in our account:

1. We can start our day with prayer, thanking God that He kept us safe and secure through the night.

2. We can ask for God's help with our day, all the things we have to do and the places we have to be. When we do that, we make life deposits and start our day with a full account.

3. When we realise, we are stressed about work, family or our health, we can stop and assess whether these are valid concerns or just our fears. Are there things we can do to actively address these issues rather than just worrying about them?

4. We can speak God's word out loud. Memorising or writing down a few Bible verses that help us stop worrying and speak specifically to what we are worrying about is a powerful and effective way of shifting worrying thoughts.

God cares about us and tells us we can bring our concerns and talk to Him about them. Worry makes us weaker and weaker, but trusting in God makes us strong. He wants us to give all our worries to Him so He can handle them because He does care about us. God knows that the devil is out to defeat us and undermine our trust and faith in Him by causing us to worry and become fearful. That's why it is so important to watch what we are thinking. When we are in a weak state, we can be sure that the devil is watching for a chance to attack our lives. That's why God encourages us to stand strong, give our burdens to Him, keep His word in our hearts and mouths, and stay connected with those who love and follow Jesus, too, because they will help us. (1 Peter 5:6-9)

5. Lastly, understand that worry is an activity of its own and can be exhausting. When we worry, we find it hard to hear God. It's like a loud noise which tries to keep our attention so that we miss what God is saying. Unplug worry, choose not to listen anymore, and rest in God's love and care.

Jesus said, "I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don't let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (John 14:27)

God says we don't have to worry about whatever we are facing. We can easily get to the point of exhausting our energy and resources if we spend every moment of our day in worry.

All we can do is take care of what we can and leave the rest to God.

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. "(1 Peter 5:7)

"Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. "(Psalm 55:22)

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" (Matthew 6:25)

Today choose to make deposits in your account, especially if you catch yourself making withdrawals of worry. We do our part, and God will do His. He doesn't want us to carry the load; we can depend on Him.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you do lift my load and that you want to help me to live worry-free. Please help me to listen to you and to stay out of worry today. In Jesus' name Amen.

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