What is your “worry posture”? Are you a pacer – forming a rut in your carpeting as you try to find an answer? Are you a sleeper – worry is too overwhelming to deal with so you block out the world, at least for a little while, by taking a self-deserved nap? Are you worry eater – mindlessly filling your face to deaden the worry? Are you a Googler – spending hours on the World Wide Web hoping to find your answer?
Certainly there are many other things that worry can drive us to, but do any of these things actually eliminate our worry? I think we can all answer “no.”
I would describe myself as first, a Googler. Somewhere in my brain I have convinced myself that if there is an answer out there, Google will find it. And then when that doesn’t work, because, let’s face it, it really just doesn’t, I turn into a sleeper. Life’s too hard. Goodnight world. Wake me when it’s over. Peace out.
In all transparency, I having been dealing with some “invisible” health issues (in that you would think I am absolutely fine when you talk to me) for the past year and a half. Which have beget little demons of anxiety inside me, for sure. And if you would look at my “frequent searches” in my Internet browser, you would see whispers of my desperation for an answer. (Yes, I’ve been to doctors. No, they haven’t figured it out yet.) So, I am writing this mainly for myself, but I hope that you might benefit as well!
In our exhaustive efforts to rid ourselves of worry, we typically add to the worry instead of relieve it. (30 seconds into an Internet search on any malady will certainly result in a cancer diagnosis. That will ease our minds for sure!) So, if Googling, sleeping, eating, pacing, etc, is not the answer to our worry, then what is?
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone among you cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayers of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:13-16 ESV)
Apparently, James (the half-brother of Jesus), believes prayer to be appropriate in every situation. Not every time we pray, is there going to be an instantaneous and, in our opinion, agreeable answer. God is not a genie who mindlessly grants our every wish. If we are allowed to suffer, it will be for our good and His glory. But what prayer does, eventually, is it gets our eyes off of ourselves and our situations, and refocuses our gaze on our loving Father.
Now, have I spent even half as much time in prayer as I have spent making sacrifices to the altar of Dr. Google? Sadly, no. Will that change for me today? I hope so, but that would have to be God’s drawing me because I know me – and the flesh in me is already given a firm “nope!”
Does God always work on our timeline? I would say rarely does our timeline coincide with His. Can He heal? Absolutely! Will He? I don’t know. But while I wait, I ask that you pray for me, that my “worry posture” would be on my knees in prayer. After all, Google does not hold more answers than God. Ever. And for that, I am thankful!