One Hundred Times
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
I’m terrified of drowning, so I’ve avoided water most my life. Before I turned forty, however, I decided to face my fears and take swimming lessons.
My swim coach knew I was nervous and had me do an exercise each week before he started his instruction; I gripped the side of the pool and bobbed up and down, dunking my head under water and coming back up for air.
I did this one hundred times before the fear left my body, and I was relaxed enough to learn.
God also knows we are prone to worry. Hundreds of times in Scripture He tells us to not be afraid, to not fear, to not be anxious. Besides wanting better for His children than a life of fear, like my wise swim coach, God knows we cannot receive His instruction if worried thoughts distract us, so He gives us an exercise to help; He tells us to pray about every situation with thanksgiving.
Thankfulness and anxiousness cannot occupy our thoughts at the same time.
When troubles increase, it is often difficult to find even one reason to be thankful, but we can start by saying, “Thank You, God, for allowing me to come before you with my requests.”
It may seem as impossible as being comfortable in a swimming pool seemed to me, but God will take our prayer of thanksgiving and multiply it until one hundred thankful thoughts replace one hundred fearful thoughts.