Three Ways to Break Free from Worry
These days, there is plenty to worry about. But we weren’t made to carry around so much worry in our hearts. Worry weighs us down — emotionally, mentally, and physically. And it did in Bible times, too, like when Jacob had good reason to worry about his family’s safety. Do you know what he did? He learned to manage his anxiety by giving it all to God — a faithful and powerful tactic that we can all learn to do! In today’s episode, host Yael Eckstein takes a closer look at this frightening time in Jacob’s life so that we can all learn three powerful ways to give our stress to God, break free from worry, and experience the fullness of joy that God wants for us! Listen now!
On today’s podcast, host Yael Eckstein focuses on these verses from Genesis 32:7-13:
“In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, ‘If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.’ Then Jacob prayed, ‘O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, LORD, you who said to me, “Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,” I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. But you have said, “I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.”’ He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau.”
This passage describes a time when Jacob experienced “great fear and distress” — and for good reason! His brother, Esau, who had vowed to kill Jacob for stealing his birthright, was on the move, about to attack his family with 400 thugs to help him. Jacob immediately took steps to protect his family by dividing them into two camps, praying to God, and sending Esau a gift to appease him. After this was done, we learn that Jacob then spent the night where he was, sleeping. But how could he fall asleep during one of the most stressful times in his life?
Yael explains that once Jacob had done all that was humanly possible, he gave the rest up to God. And once he gave it to God, he was no longer afraid and distressed. He was at peace and was able to sleep soundly. In this episode, Yael challenges us to do the same. Yet, as we all know, saying we shouldn’t worry and actually not worrying are two different things! How can we learn to give our fears and stresses to God, and not worry?
Proverbs 12:25 gives us some insight: “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Yael unpacks the phrase “a kind word” and offers these three powerful ways to cease worrying: prayer, getting encouraging words from friends, and turning to the Word of God.
It’s human nature to be overwhelmed and fearful at times in our lives, but we always have the choice to let those feelings go, knowing that God can do what we cannot. Life is too precious to spend it feeling worried and afraid. It’s time to let go of worry and live our best lives!