Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
I worried about a lot of things. Income. My children. Health. Relationships. But worrying wasn't helping. So one day I decided to take a closer look. What was behind worry itself? Why did I have so much of it? Could I get over it?
Because I often find solutions to problems in the Bible, I turned to a Bible concordance. Surprisingly, the word worry wasn't there. Hmm....
Looking further, I discovered the Bible does say a lot about fear. Over and over, the Scriptures command, "Don't be afraid."
Next, I went to the works of Mary Baker Eddy, a theologian and author whose insights into God have helped me solve many problems.
I had been learning from her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (which illumines the Bible's healing message) that God is so good, so powerful, so ever present, that He protects us from all evil. And that protection is the understanding God gives that evil is really substanceless. It has no origin or authority, because it isn't from God. As we thoughtfully trust God's allness and goodness every day, the inclination to worry gives place to a conviction that God's control can be proved step by step in any situation.
One particular idea has helped me greatly to be free from worry. It's in a rendering of the 23rd Psalm, where the word Love (divine Love, or God) is substituted for the word Lord (see Pg. 578):
"[Divine love] is my shepherd; I shall not want.
"[Love] maketh me to lie down in green pastures: [love] leadeth me beside the still waters.
"[Love] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense]: [love] leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for [love] is with me; [love's] rod and [love's] staff they comfort me.
"[Love] prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: [love] anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [love] for ever."
When I could see all that God, divine Love, is doing for us, I could see I need not worry. Not about health, finances, my future, violent weather, crime - not anything. Instead, I could (and would) pray about these circumstances, in order to see God's healing hand in them. God is good alone, and God was and is in control.
My newfound determination not to worry was put to the test at one particular period. The children's father and I were divorced, and they spent time with each of us. Their father was much more lenient with them than I, and when they were teenagers I was constantly worried about what they were doing that he would give consent to that I wouldn't. Things like drinking and staying out very late.
Since I'd discovered that learning about God was helpful in stopping fear, I once again turned to the Bible and Science and Health. Particularly helpful were the references to God as wisdom, as divine Mind, the Mind of each of us. I reasoned that since God is good, and He is Mind, He is directing each of His children in ways that are only good. And since He is omnipotent, He can overpower any inclination contrary to His nature. God alone can hold each child in obedience to Him. When I realized this spiritual fact, I trusted it with all my heart. And I didn't have to worry.
To this day, the children say that my praying in this way, rather than nagging at them, helped immensely. They could feel the spiritual support, and were encouraged to do what was morally right. Not that they weren't tempted. They were. And sometimes they faltered. But they, too, learned to love and trust God. To feel His care for them.
Whatever your particular needs are, you can daily strive to know that God loves you and takes care of you. That His guidance comes to comfort and heal. This is a permanent promise of peace, and brings confidence in God's control of the whole universe.