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If there was one thing we should all give up for Lent (and for life!), it’s worrying. Worry achieves absolutely nothing positive and Jesus warns us against the problems it causes in Matt 6:25-34. Corrie Ten Boom defined worry as a ‘cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a centre of fear’, and said, ‘worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.’

We worry about so many things, some trivial, some more important, but ultimately worry is pointless. It does not have the power to change anything and simply leaves us worn out and fraught. Right now, the world is not only worrying about the corona virus; many people are positively panicking. Yet neither worry nor panic, fear nor fretting can actually change anything. We need to learn to let go of all worry and replace it with trust in God. Faith, not fear, has to be our guide. Isaiah reminded the people many years ago, Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.’ (Is 8:12-13)

Paul reminds us that prayer is the antidote to worry: ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 4:6-7)