This Lenten season, rather than only abstaining from physical pleasures, such as sweets and other treats, let’s go a little deeper and give up our practices that hinder a more intimate relationship with God. For instance, we can make an effort to let go of our habit of worrying. When we are anxious and stressed, it can feel as though life is hitting us from every angle, just like a pinball machine whacking a ball from every side. When this is the case, it is difficult to focus on God and our faith.
Here are 3 powerful ways to “give up” endless worrying and deepen your relationship with God this Lenten season:
- “Give up” feelings of worry and anxiousness, and “Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 (NLT). Sometimes taking action for the sake of taking action will relieve your anxiety and fretfulness—but only in the short term. Although we typically associate inaction with weakness or a lack of control (which is why we feel inclined to take some form of action, any action, in moments of despair), that is not always the best option. In fact, having an option in our back pocket actually gives us a false sense of control. I know that I am guilty of this in my own life, as I worried constantly until I had a solid Plan B to fall back on if my Plan A didn’t work. Instead, being still and allowing God to take control is our best option. The next move may not yours, but God’s, and only God’s.
Maybe God is telling you at this time to:
- Be still in your relationships and know that I am God
- Be still in your health condition and know that I am God
- Be still in your finances and know that I am God
- Be still in your business affairs and know that I am God
- “Give up” a weak spiritual foundation. When your spiritual foundation is weak, you are more susceptible to feeling hit from every angle, and responding anxiously in the moment. This will lead you to focus on your greatest problem, or problems, of the hour and how to resolve matters. Your first approach to fixing things may be a spiritual one. In that case, you may pray to God, asking for guidance and relief, while trying your best to maintain a spiritual perspective. This is a wonderful option. However, if relief doesn’t come when you hoped it would, and you easily revert back to a state of perpetual worry, your spiritual foundation may not be as strong as you hoped it would be. Try to catch yourself the next time this happens and recall that even if your problem is great, the God you serve is greater, and He will give you help in whatever way He sees fit.
- “Give up” resistance and strive for acceptance. On one hand, you find relief in being still and turning matters over to God. On the other hand, you may want to know just how and when He will handle it all. When things don’t move on your timeline, you may start to resist your situation and become anxious all over again. Resistance weakens you because it creates internal anguish. It’s like running in mud. This is when you should strive for acceptance, even if it’s one moment at a time. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you agree with, or are willing to give into, the situation you find yourself in. It just means that you choose to accept things in the moment, knowing that God will take care of the next one. In other words, acceptance is faith in action because you are taking your hands off the steering wheel, and trusting in God to navigate your course.
The next time you feel anxious and fretful, like a pinball being hit from every angle, will you choose to be consumed by endless worry, or will you situate yourself on the solid rock of Christ, and know that He will take care of you?
This Lent Season, turn your blues into blessings by fully surrendering to God’s approach, which may involve the refining of your character and deepening your faith.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)
Share with 5 others who also may want to “give up” endless worrying.