The other day I was tempted to become worried and fearful. My income is way down this year and, with a son in college, our family expenses are way up. We’ve had to dip into savings to keep our heads above water. (Thank God for savings!)
Most of my life in this situation I’ve gone into obsessive worrying or strategizing on how to solve my problem. But in recent years, I’ve been learning to fill my mind with God’s Word and to practice God’s presence. So oftentimes when fears or worries attack me God’s Word is already alive in me, and prayer is active and ready to rise up.
So on this day, because it was the first day of the month, I was praying Psalm 1, which I have memorized so that I can “chew” on it throughout the day. So instead of spinning into fear and anxiety, I simply began to meditate on Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked… but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by the stream of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither… For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous.”
I smiled and began thanking the Lord. Here’s what I wrote in my journal after praying Psalm 1:
“Yes, Lord Jesus, I am so blessed to follow you on the path of life, to be the disciple you love. I’m not going to worry about things I can’t control. What I can do is to keep delighting in your Law and your Word. I rejoice to know you and to be taught by you and that you help me to bear fruit for you. Thank you Lord that you watch over me.”
What could be better than appreciating that I am the disciple Jesus loves? It puts everything else in perspective and gives us peace. Praying the Psalms with Jesus (like I did with Psalm 1) really helps me!
What a difference it makes when instead of letting our thoughts become a “worry train,” we connect with the Lord in prayer and meditation. This is something I teach people how to do in counseling and in spiritual mentoring.