Storm clouds in Guatemala, Peten, Guatemala

Confessions of a worry wart in a thunderstorm

I have a confession to make.

Why is it so hard to let go of the things you worry about? Does anybody else have that problem? Sometimes my brain races at night, and I can’t get it to shut off. I just can’t stop thinking. And before you know it, I’m lying in bed wide awake when I should be sleeping.

I had a monster rainstorm at my house last night. By all accounts, my basement should have flooded. Judging by the amount of rain that came down and how long it came down, a basement full of water this morning wouldn’t have surprised me. But my basement is dry. In one little place water is starting to seep in through the concrete, but that’s not a problem. And it’s not something I need to clean up. So I’m immensely thankful this morning, and I’m wondering why I stubbornly cling to things that don’t matter.

Storm clouds in Guatemala, Peten, Guatemala

Storm clouds in Guatemala, Peten, Guatemala

Today’s Bible verse is Isaiah 26:4.

Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

I trust God. I do. I have no problem turning things over to Him, but then my brain keeps bringing them back up again. Last night is a great example. I knew the basement hadn’t leaked in months, and even if it had, it’s not like it would have destroyed a bunch of valuable things. The biggest issue would be clean up. But my brain wouldn’t stop thinking about it. Do I have enough towels? Is the shopvac here? What if the power goes out and I can’t use the shopvac? Is the sump pump working? I don’t hear it running. Why isn’t it running?

And on and on and on it went, circling my brain until the rain outside finally slowed around 3:00 a.m. I’m glad I took a nap yesterday.

Does worry like that mean I don’t trust God? That’s what I’m concerned about. Because I want to trust Him completely. I want to know that I’ve given everything I have over to Him and that He can do whatever He likes with it. Granted, He can do whatever He likes with it without my permission or not, but my attitude about His sovereignty in my life is essential.

For every worry that popped up in my head, I answered it with truth. God is sovereign. All I have is His. Things are things and can be replaced. Until I got to the point of wondering what I was even worrying about. But even then, I couldn’t stop it.

So what does that mean? Does that mean I don’t trust God like I should? Well, I’m not sure any of us can claim that we’ve accomplished that level of trust. Maybe a handful of people have, but I’m not sure they would go around talking about how tight they are with God even if they were. I want to trust God more than I do, but I trust Him already too. I’ve seen Him do miracles. I’ve seen Him do extraordinary things in my life.

Today’s verse calls Him the Eternal Rock, and that’s true. He hasn’t changed at all from the beginning of time. He’s the same God who provided for the founders of our faith, the same God who protected believers in the past. I know that. I believe that. So why do I worry? And not just worry–allow my brain to run wild to the wee hours of early morning over something that doesn’t matter, something that won’t even turn out to be a problem?

It’s frustrating.

Not once in the night did I doubt that everything would be okay. Even if the house flooded, even if everything was destroyed, I knew it would be okay. God has taken care of me before; certainly, He’d do it again. But it’s one thing to know it; it’s something else to believe it. And living it takes the whole concept to another level.

So what’s the solution for worry? I wish I knew, but I don’t. If I knew, I wouldn’t be staying up to 3:00 a.m. worrying about a flood that never came. I tell you what, I never felt more like Elijah in the cave after Jezebel threatened his life.

For me, I think it’s focus and discipline. Part of having faith is acting like you believe even if you don’t feel like it. If you think about it, that’s a definition of faith. And the rest of it is remembering. Remember what God has done for you–not necessarily for other people. It’s easy to remember how God has helped others. That’s because it’s a lot easier to focus on others in general. But when it comes to remembering what God has done for you personally, that’s more difficult. Remind yourself how God has helped you in the past and focus on that. Your perspective will change, and maybe the urge to worry will go away.

It’s supposed to rain again tonight, so if it works, I’ll let you know. Either way, giving in to worry is a waste of time, and losing sleep over something you can’t change or can’t stop is silly. It’s one thing to want to be prepared to face trouble. That’s wisdom. But get prepared and then don’t worry about it. And when your brain starts to worry anyway, point out all the ways that God has helped you personally in the past. You’ll probably have to remind it more than once.

The key to facing worry down is remembering who is in charge. If what you are worrying about happens, God has you covered and has something for you to learn. If what you are worrying about doesn’t happen, God still has you covered and has something for you to learn. Either way, God still has you covered.