Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Kenny was a kind young man, devoted to making the world a better place. I loved him. With my whole heart. He was my best friend. He died March 30, 1991.
A few years after his death, I woke up in the middle of the night, wide eyed. Kenny was sitting on the edge of my bed! Startled, (to put it mildly) I asked what he was doing in my room. Before he could answer, I blurted out “I’m divorced now. I’m raising the kids on my own. I can’t go with you to Heaven.”
Kenny smiled. “I’m not here to take you with me back home. I’m here because God has a message for you.”
“Me? God has a message for me? I couldn’t fathom how God would take the time to send a message, just for me. I sat up straight, eager to hear what God wanted me to know. I knew it must be a very important message!
“You worry too much. God doesn’t want you to worry. Everything is going to be okay,” Kenny passed on the message.
“That’s it?” I was a bit disappointed. I had thought God would tell me something important, if he had gone to the trouble to send my best friend down from heaven to tell me. My worrying seemed like small potatoes compared to other things he might have shared with me.
“Yes, that’s it. God wants you to stop worrying,” he repeated.
(Kenny and I spoke of other things that very special night. He reassured me when it was my time to go home, he would be there to help me. I wouldn’t be alone.)
I have to admit that the message Kenny delivered fell on deaf ears. I didn’t understand how not worrying could be so helpful. Besides, I was a world class worrier, and had no idea how to stop. Until…
When I was healing from my brain injury I had to rely on friends and family for food and shelter. Some days, I relied on them to help me walk from one room to the other. I had to rely on God to help me in everything. My whole life was turned topsy-turvy and worry was my constant companion.
I prayed all of the time. I gave my fears and my sorrows over to God. Slowly, over time, I learned to do what God had sent Kenny to tell me to do: stop worrying. As my brain healed and I could think straight again, I remembered my social neuroscience training.
Worry is incredibly destructive. Worry releases toxic stress chemicals that literally destroy the brain, heart, and the body. Worry destroys life itself! God had sent Kenny with a very important message after all. God wanted me to stop slowly killing myself with worry!
When we allow Christ to come into our hearts and souls and minds, we can let go of worry. We can rest in his loving care. When we take everything to God in prayer, we don’t have anything left to worry about!
“His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” This is a true statement! When we stop worrying and we allow Christ’s peace into our lives and we let him guide our lives, our minds (brains) and our hearts are protected. Literally.
Worry destroys. Christ restores. I am grateful that God sent my sweet dear friend down from heaven to give me such a powerful, important message. I am passing it on to you.
My dear friends, God wants you to stop worrying. Everything will be okay.