Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. [Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)]

You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it. [Matthew 6:27 (NCV)]

dead endAs I look out the window, I can see the cars and trucks speeding off to their various destinations. Meanwhile, I am at the gym, feverishly pumping away on the elliptical and going nowhere fast. What really annoys me is that, no matter where I put it, my Fitbit doesn’t fully credit me for my steps or distance. If I’m going to break a sweat and cover a couple of miles on that pitiless machine, I want credit for all my work! Next to me is my husband pedaling the stationary bike. Like me, he’s expending a great deal of energy to go absolutely nowhere and his Fitbit, like mine, won’t properly acknowledge his effort!

It occurs to me that worry is a lot like running on the elliptical or riding the stationary bike. We expend a lot of time and energy when we fret and fuss but all that effort gets us nowhere and accomplishes absolutely nothing. Moreover, we don’t even get credit for the time we spend doing it!

At least, we get stronger and fitter when we exercise; the opposite is true of worry. Along with stealing precious hours, worry can steal our health. Stress hormones like cortisol boost blood sugar levels and triglycerides and can cause fatigue, headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath. Excessive worrying and chronic anxiety can have even more serious consequences: suppression of the immune system, coronary artery disease, digestive disorders, and heart attack.

While God has blessed us with many things, including gyms, elliptical machines and stationary bikes, let us remember that worry, fear, stress and anxiety are not from Him and have no part in a Christian’s life. While the time we expend exercising (and getting nowhere fast) is not wasted, time expended in worry is. The time we spend in worry would be better spent on our knees in prayer—for it’s in prayer that we give Him our concerns and get His peace in return.

So don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you. [Isaiah 41:10 (NCV)]

The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry. [Deuteronomy 31:8 (NCV)]

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