The shadow of your worry

An old Swedish proverb says, “Worry gives small things a big shadow.” These “big shadows” hang over your head like a great gray cloud of doom, gloom, and negativity. You may not realize it, but people around you can see that big shadow over your head because of how they feel when they are with you. As you worry and fret, your negativity takes the joy out of any moment and casts an oppressive pall of unhappiness over any situation.

Sadly, the largest shadows created by the smallest worries build up in your mind the more you focus on them. From a lost item to a blister on your big toe, those little worries compound in your mind until you feel overwhelmed and powerless. Corrie ten Boom writes, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made a burden.”

Paul said the same thing in Philippians, chapter 4, verse 6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” As your little worries begin to build up into big shadows, consider the ways in which God has blessed you. With the thought of those blessings in your mind, present your worries to God in prayer. Most importantly, remind yourself that no worry is too small for prayer.

And if you need a little motivation to let go of your worry, listen to Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Then smile, because it’s hard to focus on difficult things when you’re smiling.


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