I woke up in the middle of the night last week with a start. What was it? A noise? A dream? I still don’t know. But I lay awake trying to figure it out just long enough for my mind to begin wandering toward all of those day-time worries that awaited me with the morning light. 

What are yours? There are so many possibilities….

* Money/debt/financial future

* Marriage/relationship (or lack there-of)

* Kids (or lack there-of)

* In-laws

* Poor health

* Job security

* Crime

* Aging/appearance

* Our world

* Staying home; mourning the old pre-COVID life

* Plans gone awry

* An undefined but overall anxiety

Here’s a trick I learned years ago, at a time in my life when many of those worries were my own: 

Turn every worry into a prayer.

Sounds way too easy, doesn’t it? Yet it works. Every time. It takes some practice, but I urge you to give it a try: Anytime a worrisome thought floats up—whether in the middle of the night or by the light of day—just send up a quick one-liner:

Lord, please take this.

And let it go.

I had a long list that night last week, with a bit of resentment attached to a few of those worries.   I gave each one of them individually over to God and asked for His peace. I think I was asleep before the words even left my mouth. 

Yet the next morning, those worries roused themselves with my first cup of coffee—probably because I’d written them all down in a flurry the day before😬, not as form of self-therapy, but because I was taking some pleasure in obsessing.

I sent up a quick one-liner as I keyed the world “relax” into the search bar at www.biblegateway.com. Here’s what came up:

Scripture:

Exodus 14:14: “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Application:

Right?! I found the whoosh at its first reading. Well, after I laughed at how silly I was being: All of my worries are small potatoes to the God who holds the universe together.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for reminding me that my problems are so small and so very temporary. Thank You for teaching me through all of my life experiences that You’ve got control of it all, and that You use every bit of it for good. I’ve seen how You’ve grown my patience and persistence through worrisome times. You’ve given me strength and confidence to work through things I never thought I could handle on my own. You’ve taught me to trade resentment for compassion and forgiveness. 

And You’ve showed me—over and over and over again—that coming to You in prayer beats worry every time. Thank You for Your whoosh of peace, and for the sometimes-gift of sleepless nights and delayed accomplishment–like this precious gift You’ve blessed me with for a little while:

She’s sleeping right now. And I thank you, Lord, for that as well! Amen.

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