Good News for AWF-ful Thoughts

"Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad." Proverbs 12:25

For nine months we have been trying to get a final reconstructive surgery scheduled for my wife. She had radical surgery for breast cancer in February of this year, and was to have her final surgery completed in May. There has been delay after delay stacked on postponement and postponement. What started out as a matter of concern grew heavier and heavier every time word came that the surgery would have to be done later. In October we were weighed down by the constant delivery of bad news. There was no physical weight that had been put on us to carry, but it was a very heavy feeling nonetheless.

The Bible warns about letting Anxiety, Worry, or Fear take control of your life. A.W.F.-ful thoughts are like flashing lights on the dashboard of a car. They are not meant to light the way, but are meant to bring us to a stop in order to correct a problem.

Dana and I admitted that we had fallen into a trap of talking about the problem more than praying about it. The cure for anxiety is very clear. TALK LESS AND PRAY MORE. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Sometimes people refer to the concept of talking something to death. That has seldom been my experience. When I talk about something more than I pray about it, it does not die. It grows larger and larger until it takes on a life all its own. It becomes all consuming. It is so intimidating and so in my face that it blocks my view of God. When I pray about something more than I talk about it, the reverse happens. It shrinks. When I place it in God's hands instead of trying to wrestle with it in my own strength, it takes on smaller dimensions. My perspective on A.W.F.-ful thoughts changes when they have God's hand prints on them. When they have my perspiration on them they are magnified.

Several years ago, I decided to search the Internet to see if the rest of the world had any A.W.F-ful thoughts or if I was alone in this matter. What I discovered humored me and sobered me at the same time. Google fear and you will discover an ever-expanding list of phobias that have taken over people's lives. They can be clinically diagnosed with massive amounts of fear from all directions. When you search for anxiety there are all kinds of sites that give people a forum to list their angst. My favorite was a website for worry. It gave people a place to comment on what they were worried about the most. It ran the gamut, as the saying goes, from the ridiculous to the sublime. My favorite was a from a fellow who wrote. "I worry that someday I might forget how to spel...Oh noooooooooooo...Its happening!" This guy didn't have enough to do, or he wasn't taking other people's pain very seriously. Thank God He does.

Jesus said, "Come unto Me all who are weary, and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart: and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." Matt. 11:28-30
This beautiful passage provides us a way out from under the burden of anxiety that weighs a heart down. When we lean into the yoke, we are leaning on Jesus. The weight is rolled from our shoulders over on to His. The question is, "How long do I need to lean on Him." The answer is, "For the REST of your life."

Prideful people have A.W.F-ful thoughts take control of their lives and rob them from relief that is just a prayer away. "Humble yourselves under the mighty had of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you." I Peter 5:6-7

A.W.F.-ful thoughts will continue to weigh the heart down unless they are replaced with good news. Answered prayer is the best news that anyone can ever receive. The first week of October my wife and I admitted to one another and to our church family that we had been guilty of talking more and praying less about the scheduling of her surgery. We saw the flashing lights on our dashboard and we stopped moving in the wrong direction. We took the corrective steps of enlisting 500 people in 25 states to assist us with rolling this off of our shoulders and getting it over on to Christ's shoulders. We admitted we had no control over the issue. With no small amount of humiliation we admitted to God that we were sweating over something in our own effort that we should have placed into His hands months ago. Within 72 hours prayers began to be answered.

By the first week of November we received the official good news that Dana's surgery is scheduled for December 10th at 8 AM in Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We also have received word from a friend in the area that he wants to assist us with housing while we are there. He later surprised us with more good news that his daughter is the head nurse for the surgeon that will be operating on Dana. We didn't know our friend was in the area when we began to pray for relief. God knew. He just wanted us to pray to Him for relief from anxiety and let Him take care of the details.

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but answered prayer is the best news in the world. It makes the heart glad to get rid of A.W.F.-ful thoughts. TALK LESS AND PRAY MORE. It will do your heart some good. BTW: You look like you could use some good news today.