Worry, the Brain and the Gut

My blogging friend Gregg, at Gospel Driven Disciples, recently posted about worry and the bible. Here are my thoughts about worry that I posted in the comments:
Generally I found that I did not worry that much in my early life.. I was pretty resilient and even when my wife went blind when I was 22 I do not remember worrying that much.. I do remember crying though.

As life goes on though we do see a lot of bad stuff happening.. bad stuff happens to us.. my wife died when she was 43.. other bad stuff followed.. my kids acted out as they grieved her loss with all sorts of bad behaviors.. I was diagnosed with a rare blood disease that caused disability in my joints.. my second wife got real sick and is now in a wheelchair.

So when I think about the future I sometimes wonder what God will allow to afflict me.. not sure that it is worry.. but I do ponder the future.. always a problem when our brains are engaged. But when I engage my innermost  being (i.e. my gut) I find that I have hope.. not that bad stuff will not happen to me.. but that God will be with me if it does. And IMO that makes all of the difference.

Jesus said that we would have trials.. He also promised to be there when we do.. a message from His heart to ours.. now if I could just disengage my brain :)
I think that worry is a natural response from our brain because, generally speaking, we worry about the things that we have no control over. We worry about our future, our health and our kids.. and the futility of worry becomes so evident over time.. yet we continue to do it instead of engaging our gut. Some lessons are so hard to learn


  1. I think the two hardest lessons for me was to learn the truth of Pilippians 4:4-7 and I Peter 5:7. I had to come to the place where I believed these truths to be true, that God would do as He said He would do, and that it was sin to do otherwise.

    It is hard to rest, trust, and be at peace in the face of pain, trial, heart-ache, or even the unknown.

    Since the Lord knows us so well, maybe that is why He specifically commanded us not to worry about tomorrow and why we are not to worry about anything at all. When we do we are intruding into His space - since He is the only one who can control and change things. For all our worry, Jesus says, we can't turn a gray hair black or add one inch to our heighth. In other words, we can't change anything.

    Some certainly have had to learn to trust and rest more than others. Others have to trust and rest in different difficulties.

    Thank God we are not like most men, but we do have a hope, a living hope at that. Thanks brother.

    Our current trial is wearing on me and I find it difficult at times to trust and rest and pray.

  2. I have much the same thoughts as Gregg. There are times that trust and resting in Him see hard to do. That's when Hope comes through. Without Hope I don't know where I would be.
    My troubles seem small compared to yours but who knows what trials lay ahead of me. There is no where else to cling but on the Lord.

  3. In Linda Dillow's book, Calm My Anxious Heart she had three chapters that have changed the way I look at circumstances.
    What ifs ~~ are Anxiety. What if I get cancer, What if my kids get on drugs, what if, what if, what if.
    The second is If Only's... this is Guilt! If only I had gone to college, If only I hadn't married this jerk, If only I was thin.... on and on. And the Last is the Why's.
    After reading and teaching this book over 5 times, I can truly say I have learned to leave my What ifs, my If Only's and my Why's with the one who loves me most, and controls the universe! I'm in Good Hands!

  4. if we worry does it mean we don't have faith?
    I'm a worrier... now I pretend that I don't care so I won't have to worry... but I still find myself not being able to sleep because of some small thing I'm worrying about... and @wanda I have to learn to leave my IFONLYs behind too

  5. @Rygel - I sometimes think that conquering worry is part of what faith is all about. Worry is simply a sign that we are living from our brain instead of our heart. In a sense to conquer worry our heart must be able to overpower our brain. So the solution is to make our heart stronger by feeding and exercising it.


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