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Christian Women's Magazine | Freeing Yourself From Worry

JBU Summer Cover 2017

By Jill Briscoe

“The LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands…march around the city once…’”

Why do I worry so much? Looking back on over 80 years of worrying (my mother tells me I was a worried baby!), I am ashamed at my much worrying. I have won many worry wars, but I have lost nearly as many as I have won!

I was ready to teach the Bible one day to my women’s group on faith. I was teaching through the book of Joshua and was up to the battle of Jericho. As I took a deep breath and began, the most amazing thing began to happen. All sorts of new thoughts flooded into my mind.

“Ladies,” I said. “The children of Israel were told to go once round Jericho every day and then return to camp and rest until the next day. Round and round they went, once every day for seven days. Then the last day they were told to go round seven times—and the walls fell down. “You know,” I said (and this is where the new thoughts lined up in my mind), “it’s like worrying. Do you have a Jericho in your life? Are you facing insurmountable problems? I am. I have a terrible situation that is causing me great anxiety.” Heads nodded with quiet understanding.

“What I do when I am worrying about a Jericho in my life, ladies,” I continued, “is this. I wake up with the battle on my mind and begin going round and round, and round and round the problem—all day long. I pray about it, but I can’t stop my mind marching around that impossible situation. I am exhausted at the end of the day! You know God told the children of Israel, who must have been exceedingly worried about their Jericho challenge, to go around the problem once, then go back to camp and get on with life till the next day.”

I got it! So did they. There was almost a collective sigh of relief in the room.

“Once round Jericho, ladies,” I said firmly, as much to myself as to them. You are allowed to wake up and march once around your problem, worrying as much as you like—once! Then you are forbidden to worry any more till the next day. Once round Jericho!”

I couldn’t wait to go home and run to the Deep Place where nobody goes. When I got there God was standing by the ruins of something—I realized with a shock it was my Jericho of worry! I began to rehearse a new worry that had appeared on the horizon a day or two before, but He stopped me with a look.

“You have been round this already, looking at it from every angle, Jill,” He said sternly. “Now, let’s get on with talking about the other people in the camp that have been somewhat ignored because you have been so absorbed.” I looked around at the ruins and knew that if I could obey Him the ruins of my worrying would soon lie around my feet as surely as Jericho crumbled around the feet of the children of Israel. Worry after all is the biggest Jericho of all!

There would be other battles, of course. The children of Israel no sooner got through the problem of Jericho when they were faced with another formidable problem around the corner of their victory at Jericho. But the principle would pertain. Once round Jericho!

As you take inventory of the things you’re worrying about, step into this prayer and let God free you from worry:

Lord, I am weary beyond measure from marching round each Jericho in my life. Help me to free myself from worry.  Help me to pray my way around the situation once each day, then leave it with you. Amen.



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