The Four C’s of Worry

Worry.  Whether we want to admit it or not, from time to time, we all come face to face with this foe.  Different from fear or anxiety, worry is dwelling on what may be or what may be to come, and is generally based on speculation of negative potential outcomes or situations rather than fact, which may explain why it is such a tricky emotion to deal with.

Analogically speaking, worry is the arthritis to the broken bone of fear, meaning that it may not be as intense as fear, but it can be much more persistent and long-lived.  And like arthritis, different people experience worry about different things in life; it can be financial, relational, health-related, safety-related, work-related, or any number of other areas.

Through the digging process that my friend Brian taught me through “The Wall,” God laid a couple of steps on my heart about how to deal with worry.  And conveniently, they all start with the letter “c.”

Calm.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  (Psalm 46:10a)  While we can’t see all ends, there is One who can, and we are precious to Him (cf. Matthew 10:29-31, Luke 12:22-32.)  By ‘being still,’ we calm our minds and allow ourselves to think more clearly about things instead of allowing the irrationality of worry to take over.

Climb.Higher.  Don’t let the floodwaters overtake you – as soon as you are able to see them coming, seek higher ground.  As we know ourselves better, we can become aware of things that trigger worry – this may present us with days of advance warning, or minutes.  But either way, use the time you have to climb out of their way before they reach you.

Crest.  Whether referring to a wave, a flood, a mountain peak, or whatever, the crest is the highest point.  When we approach the crest, our field of view is dominated by the thing in question – we see just the mountain, we can only see the wave, the flood, etc.  By cresting our worry, we are mentally taking a step back and away from the worry, allowing other things to enter our field of view.

Claim.  Trustfully know and claim the truth.  Since worry is generally founded on speculation, it can’t stand to the face of truth.  Remember that you are loved (Ephesians 1:4,) remembered (Psalm 139:17,) planned (Jeremiah 29:11,) and watched over (Psalm 91:14,) among many many others.

So, the next time you start to feel the seeds of worry trying to sprout in your life, be still, seek high ground, step back, and know the truth.  Calmly climb over the crest, and claim the truth – that nothing ever happens without God’s knowledge, and nothing ever catches Him by surprise.  Ever.