Monday, March 24, 2008

An anxiety box

I remember when I was younger, two ways of taking care of my worries.

One, writing all my concerns down on a piece of paper, mentally giving them to the Lord, and then physically giving them to the Lord by actually burning that piece of paper.

Two, the Worry Doll. (Not theologically sound, but it worked sometimes.)

The essence of both of these things was to give our anxieties over to God. Physically and mentally, these two practices helped me do that.

In Isaiah 36-37, it says Hezekiah spread out his concerns before the Lord. It was only when he prayed and gave his concerns to Him, that God destroyed his enemies.

I wish sometimes it would happen to me like that all the time. Quick like that.

Life is full of potential problems or pain. What if I were to put them all in a box, wrapped beautifully...for Him?

I know He would gladly accept it.

So why do I think they are mine to hold on to?
Why do I want to control it instead of trusting God?
Can't I give him my cares....in an anxiety box?
Writing down concerns, placing them in the box....
I'm sure, over time, they all would be taken care of.

George McDonald said, "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, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God's. He begs you to leave the future to Him and to mind the present."

Steps for Freedom from Worry
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 live for today.

~From Linda Dillow's book Calm My Anxious Heart

15 comments:

lawdy said...

Your post today helped me so much. It really was comforting and gave me some good ideas for dealing with some of my current stress. Thank you!

Betty said...

Oh Andrea, HOW I needed this today. We have alot happening. I was just diagnosed as having celiac disease and my children may have it as well. We have more bills than we can pay and we found out our plumbing is corroded and needs to be replaced as well as our roof.

These are definitely different problems than I had a year ago, practically living in the hospital with my dh and his heart issues. I'd rather have my present problems.

But what timing for you to post this today. I even emailed it to my dh who is feeling the weight of it all right now.

God used you to really bless us.

Blessings to you too,
Betty

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales) said...

The "worry doll" made me think of the Russian Cinderella story, where the unfortunate girl's helper is a doll her dying mother gave her.

In each iteration of trouble the girl would tell her troubles to the doll, and it would tell her to sleep, saying "morning is wiser than the evening" then working everything out by/in the morning.

I've always thought the dolls first words were the best advice most of us can get. ;o)

Anonymous said...

i loved that book( calm my anxious heart) ... i have not looked at it in a while thanks for the reminder... i will get it out and dust it off.......elizabeth cochet

Beck said...

This is a wonderful post. My kids NEED to say their bedtime prayers to sleep well at night, and it's occured to me quite often that so do I.

MondaythroughSunday said...

Great post! I like that you are proactive in refusing to worry. I know there are many Christians that do not realize how important it is to refuse to worry. These are some great things to learn and put in practice..thanks!

Elizabeth said...

Andrea: YAY! Another George McDonald fan! I love that man!

And yes, each and every day I say to the Lord: I trust you, I believe in You, it's all in Your hands. You are in control.

Still, I worry. So I have to practice this over and over.

Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I have been feeling ovewhelmed, sick with the little ones, my tax business and some other good things (planning homeschooling for next year, etc.).

Thank you for God's perspective.
Love in Christ, Mary Brooke

Melissa said...

Thank you!!

REAL ME said...

Thanks for this post. I enjoyed my visit and eager to read some more!

Terry said...

Wonderful thoughts, Andrea. And as usual, such an encouraging and eloquent manner. Thanks for sharing this one!

Holly said...

Yes...we have to learn this over and over again, don't we? Maybe I just learn it on a new level each time, but I wish I could learn it once and for all and that would be the end of the worry.

:)

Thank you for the reminder to keep giving it back to the Lord, again and again.

Beverly said...

This post was ready made for me- the worrier of the family. How did you know? Thank you, as always!

Ann V.@HolyExperience said...

Thank you, Andrea.
Don't you think the box is the shape of His heart?

You bless.

The Arnold Family said...

That ministered much to me. I have had your blog bookmarked for awhile, can't remember where I first saw it. Keep em coming!