I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that along with being quarantined, I have begun to experience an occasional bout of dread. I know it’s logical because there is an unseen enemy out in the world now, and we don’t know who or when it will strike.
But I don’t like this unpleasant emotion that brings with it all sorts of baggage in the form of unpleasant side effects – worry, agitation, nervousness, and never having any peace.
Dread is the extreme fear or a reluctance to do or meet something. Sometimes when we dread something, it’s so paralyzing that it ruins our present. Dreading a thing will not change what is going to happen. It just makes the time leading up to it more miserable.
The friend of dread is worry. An anonymous author said, “Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, and it doesn’t get you anywhere.” What a great picture! When we worry, our mind goes back and forth between thoughts and doesn’t accomplish a thing, and we stay in the same place…never moving forward.
Usually, there is nothing that can happen to change our worries. Our thoughts are often about things that haven’t even happened yet or may never happen. Worry cannot change a thing in our lives and does nothing but squelch our joy and happiness. If we do it long and hard enough, worry can make us ill or feel ill.
Whatever is going to happen will happen, regardless of our thought life. It is always good to be prepared and have a plan, but not to dwell on the “what ifs.” When we are old and look back on our lives, we will see the things we did do and take note of what we enjoyed. How many of us will say, “I did not worry enough?” We will be ever so remorseful if we let worry stop us from living life to its fullest with joy.
The only thing we can do when dread and worry take over our thought life is to turn to the Lord. I can hear Him tell me to accept things as they come. He’ll remind me that I can’t change the outcome of anything by dread or worry. It will only harm me physically and mentally. He’ll tell me He’s got me in His hand and to be prudent about taking care of myself.
It is a senseless waste of time to be fearful in the present for something that may or may not happen in the future. It is essential to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now. God reminds me, if we do not live in the present, I can miss a blessing or blessings today.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7