I hung up the phone. It was the doctor, and I was in shock. My young daughter’s results had come back positive for an auto-immune disease. This diagnosis was lifelong and meant immediate change to our lives. As my questions grew, so did the weight of worry.
Have you ever felt a wave of worry like that? Has fear taken you by surprise and left you questioning? Or have weeping and confusion been your closest friends?
I knew I needed time with God. I knew He was not shocked by this.
As I sought the Lord and turned to His Word, I found the truth I needed to calm the worry that plagued my heart.
The biblical principle for overcoming worry, is to choose worship.
Scripture is full of times where the people of God chose to worship despite the situation they were facing.
Kind David faced a season of heartbreaking obstacles. In 2 Samuel 15 he was on the run again. His son had betrayed him, he feared for his safety, and he had no idea how God was going to rescue him. So, he escaped Jerusalem and was unsure if he would ever return.
In verses 30-32 we read he was weeping as he ascended the Mount of Olives where the people worshipped God. He was fleeing his home, flooded with fear and worry and yet he goes into the presence of God, and He worships.
As David worshipped, God paved a way through the worry. In the next chapter we read that God provided David with clarity, wisdom, and much needed food.
My search through the Scriptures has shown me that worship is my adoration for God, and devotion to Him whatever stage of life I am in. It is my thanksgiving and praise despite the circumstances I am facing.
Here are 4 ways worship can help free you of the weight of worry. Perhaps they will help as they have helped me.
- RESPOND TO GOD WITH WORSHIP
After the angel Gabriel spoke with Mary, she must have been worried about the days ahead. Despite her initial confusion and shock, Mary’s response was to worship God. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:46 HSCB)
The disciples of Jesus were also acquainted with worry. In Matthew 14 we find them fretting with worry as the storm raged upon their boat. When Jesus arrived on the scene, He calmed the wind and the waves, and they knelt down and worshipped Him saying “Truly You are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:33 HSCB) Their worship was a response to what Jesus had done and a declaration about who He is.
These verses show us that our worship is not dependant on our circumstances, how we feel or the questions we have. Doctors call, and things can change, but God does not. He is the same God as before the doctor called and He will be the same God as we journey through this, always worthy of our worship.
- SURRENDER TO GOD WITH WORSHIP
Worship is not about us. It is all about God. In Psalm 95:6 (HSCB) we read “Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker!” Kneeling and bowing down are actions, they call for surrender and humility before God. In a world that demands we put ourselves first, when we choose to worship God, we are choosing to put Him first.
We are also called to trust God and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). When we do this, we are effectively choosing to surrender our own ways as we acknowledge that His ways are better. This is my worship.
- OFFER YOUR HEART TO GOD AS WORSHIP
Worship is more than our words and actions; it must involve our hearts.
Jesus said in Matthew 15:8,9 (HSCB) “These people honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Jesus is always more concerned with our hearts, than what we say or do.
My heart was heavy for my daughter and the changes this diagnosis would mean for her life, but I know that God can handle that weight. So, I gave Him my heart and the worry weighing it down and that’s my worship.
- CHOOSE TO WORSHIP DAILY
I can worship God during the chaos of everyday life because nothing changes who He is and what He has done.
I can choose to worship while folding the washing even though the laundry basket is still overflowing.
I can choose to worship even though the dishes still fill the sink and dinner isn’t even made.
It is in these moments when we choose to declare that God is good, our focus is taken off our worries and we realise He always provides for all that we need. We realise He is worthy of our praise and adoration despite the state of the kitchen or the medical diagnosis.
OUR WORSHIP USHERS IN HIS PEACE
When we acknowledge the greatness of God and choose to trust Him, despite our struggles, this is our worship! As we do this, He gives us peace. In Isaiah 26:3 (HSCB) we read “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.” So, when I do not understand what’s going on and I am tempted to worry, I will turn my mind to Him, and He will cover me in peace.
When I chose to worship God amidst this diagnosis, the tears still lingered, however, I was no longer weighed down by worry!
Even though I would not have chosen this diagnosis for my daughter, through it all I have realised, even when we don’t understand the hand of God, we can always trust His heart.