How to Stop Overthinking

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?” Isaiah 40:12 (NIV)

I lay in the bathtub willing my muscles and mind to relax in the lavender Epsom salts. The tensions and pressures of the day twisted and turned in my thoughts. Problems no amount of thinking could solve, but I felt powerless to stop the runaway train.

I mulled over the idea of God having the whole world in his hands. I looked at my hand as it swirled in the water. I scooped a handful of water into my cupped hand. Within seconds most of it leaked out. I was left with a half of a tablespoon of water. I can hold a half a tablespoon of water in my hand. God can hold the entire Atlantic Ocean in his hand. And the Pacific. At the same time.

God is like a parent who tries to help a toddler. I am like the toddler who looks at God and says, “No thank you, God. I’ll do it myself.” He is enormous and capable. And I can hold a few drops of water in my hand. At that moment, my heart shifted from worry to trust.

We can trust God because God is:

  • Capable – “The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.” Psalm 118:16 (NASB)
  • Confident – “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Cor. 3:5 (NIV)
  • Continuous “’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Rev. 1:8 (ESV)

When we live in our own understanding, we are:

  • Anxious – God is with me. I am never alone. My hand is small, but when his strong hand comes beside mine, I am safe. “I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 (NASB)
  • Insecure – By lifting my hands in prayer I acknowledge I can’t, and I need help. I ask God to take control, trusting he is good and loving. “May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.” Psalm 141:2 (NASB)
  • Limited – Try holding your breath for two minutes. Control is an illusion. No wonder we are afraid when we rely on our own strength. “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27 (NIV)

I don’t have all the information. I become anxious when I am trying to solve problems on my own strength and abilities. It leads to overthinking and overanalyzing, which in the end never solve the problem.

God is, was and always will be. He is never changing. He is good and working all things for good.

Instead of gripping our own understanding like a toddler’s fist squeezing around a toy, let’s choose to trust the one who is able to do abundantly above and beyond all we can think or imagine.

Today, before the stresses of the day descend on us, let’s determine where we’re going to set our thoughts. What verse could you use today? When you’re tempted to solve your problems with your own hands, how will you shift your focus to the one who holds the whole world in his hands?

One comment

  1. Mary Schurdell

    I like your advice. Most of my life my first reaction was always to worry. Yes, I seemed to worry about everyone and everything.
    God has been doing quite a work in my life recently in teaching me to stop worrying and to trust him. I do still fall back into my “worry mode” at times. But those times are becoming less frequent.
    I especially appreciated the verse you included. I even copied down Matthew 6:27 and have it right here on my desk in front of me. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: