Springtime in southern Louisiana can be glorious. At the first sign of warm weather, pink azaleas burst out of hiding. White blossoms pop out of tree branches. Day lilies emerge, stretching their leaves upward after a winter’s nap. Unfortunately, the weeds emerge, too, and threaten to strangle the flowers.
And though I’m not a fan of yard work, I pull up the weeds; otherwise, my garden will be a tangled mess.
But it didn’t take long for the weeds of worry to choke out my joy. My roommates were moving into their sorority houses. (How could they leave me?) My history professor didn’t think I deserved an A in his course. (Imagine that!) I received an unexpected summons to the office of the Dean of Women. (Never a good omen!) My heart became like the thorny soil in Jesus’ parable.
but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.”
As a new Christian, I had to learn that when we worry, we’re not trusting God.
I memorized Philippians 4:6-7 and decided I wouldn’t worry about anything anymore. And I didn’t…until the next problem came along.
Over the years, God’s shown me time and time again that He’s for me. But I still contend with weeds of worry.
The solution to the problem is the same now as it was then.
Then, I’ve got to go back to Philippians 4:6-7: praying about my problems, thanking God in advance for what He will do, then trusting Him for the solutions.
But the battle with worry doesn’t end with Philippians 4:6-7. Philippians 4:8 tells us that after we pray about our problems, we’ve got to stop thinking about what’s wrong,and dwell on what’s right.
You’d think I’d have learned to rest in Him, but worry still creeps in, threatening to take root and preventing me from delighting in the Lord. Recently, I found myself fretting over travel arrangements for an upcoming conference. I had to remind myself that God had been a “very present help” in major crises in the past, and He can certainly handle todays little difficulties.
Here are some “garden tools” I use when worries creep in:
S – Supplication (asking God for what I need)
P – Prayer (talking to Him about my troubles)
A – Appreciation (for what He’s done and what He’s going to do)
D -Dependence on Him (to take care of me today as He has done in the past)
E – Exchanging worry for worship (thinking about what’s right instead of what’s wrong)
What worries do you need to bring to the Lord?
How has God delivered you in the past?
What are the true and right and pure and lovely things you need to meditate on today?
If we want to delight in the garden with the Lord, we’ve got to keep up with the yard work.
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