Worry Is a Stray Cat

 There’s a stray cat in the neighborhood, and for whatever reason, it’s homed in on you. 

It howls at your doorstep. You shoo it away. When you come home at night, it’s lurking in the bushes. You rush inside, closing the door firmly in its face, but the next morning, there it is – waiting for you. 

In a moment of weakness, you let it inside. Stroke it a few times. Let it nap in the sunny spot on the carpet. Feed it—just a morsel, because it’s crying so pitifully. Before long it’s sleeping in your bed, kneading you with its paws, disturbing your sleep, and leaving hair everywhere. 

Worry is a lot like a stray cat. It lurks in the corners of our lives waiting to pounce. No matter how many times we shut the door in its face, it’s always there, waiting. 

Sometimes we succumb and let it into our heart’s home. We give it full access to our minds and emotions. We feed it what ifs, and it thrives. Before long it takes over. Nothing—not even sleep—is safe from its needle-sharp claws. It crowds out our peace and leaves evidence of its presence clinging to everything. 

If you’re struggling with worry, here are four biblical suggestions: 

1. Recognize worry for what it is—and unwelcome guest. Worry has no place in the life of a believer. For years I excused my tendency to worry by saying, “I can’t help it. I’m a natural born worrier.” This is true. But believers aren’t natural any more, we’re supernatural. Because we have the Spirit of Christ living in us, we can triumph over the frailties of our human nature. We don’t have to be enslaved to them. 

2. Don’t entertain it. Worry, like that stray cat I referred to, often shows up at our door. We can’t help that, but we can choose not to invite it in. Memorizing promises from God’s Word, praying, and keeping a thankful list can help us bar the door. “Be anxious for nothing,” God’s Word commands us, “but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). 

3. Don’t feed it. Worry has the amazing ability to grow. The more we feed it, the fatter it gets. Following our thoughts down dark pathways, through sinister possibilities, and around terrifying turns fuels our fears, providing a nourishing diet for it to thrive. When we starve it by redirecting our thoughts, speaking truth into the situation, and channeling our ponderings into purposeful action, we cut off its supply. 

4. Banish it with truth from God’s Word. Spending time in the Bible every day supplies a powerful antidote for worry. Reading true-life accounts of God’s faithfulness to believers down through the ages inspires us to trust him. Exploring the characteristics of God teaches us how much he loves us. Watching God’s plan of redemption play out on the pages of Scripture gives us glimpses of how God can also work in our lives. Worry flees in the face of truth, and the Bible is the best source of truth available. 

If you’re struggling today, I hope you’ll take the garden hose of faith to the stray cat of worry. Truth be told, this unwelcome guest will continue to pester you this side of heaven, but these tips will provide a powerful way to guard your home and your heart. 

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  1. What a great analogy for worry. It does hang around like a stray cat and won't leave without using the garden hose of faith (I love that phrase!). Philippians 4:6-7 are some of my favorite verses because I have to rely on them so much. Thanks, Lori.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Barbara. Thanks for your kind words. We'll chase that troublesome critter away together!

    2. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Barbara. Thanks for your kind words. We'll chase that troublesome critter away together!


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