Honey, Worry Can Strangle Your Soul

When I arrived home from the weekend conference Sunday evening, I realized a hitchhiker had accompanied me in the door.

His name was Worry.

At once he set to work bringing up all those things that had conveniently been dormant while I had focused on an enjoyable weekend of ministry. One by one, people and circumstances – ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ – popped into my mind and got me to thinking.

And worrying.

I might as well have just snatched back from God everything and everyone I had ever entrusted to Him. I might as well have emailed all those women to just forget what I had taught them, because by now even I wasn’t buying it.

I had retrieved those worries and I was planning to drag them into my new week. Oh yeah, that hitchhiker had already settled in to my home and heart quite comfortably.

Mama said, “Worry is a lot like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but you don’t get anywhere.”

Actually worry causes regress, not progress. Experts say that most of what we spend time worrying about never actually comes to pass. Think of all that time and energy spent worrying, now lost to us forever. Who has time or energy to waste that way?

I’m also not prepared to pay the price of holding on to my worries. “Just from a medical perspective, living in a constant state of anxiety, worry, or fear can cause all kinds of irritability and frustration, mood swings, depression, and decreased mental function.”

I’d rather do what this verse says Leave all your worries with Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5.7 

God wants to carry our burdens. God wants to assure us that He has everything under control and we can leave all concerns in His care. “God is not pacing the throne room anxious and depressed because of the condition of the world. He knows, He is not surprised, and He is sovereign.” (Dr. Richard Swenson)

Some of us excuse our worrying by saying that it’s just our nature to do so. Nothing could be farther from the truth – we make a choice to worry.

I was shocked to learn that the root words for ‘worry’ are rather violent. The Old English derivation is wyrgan, which means to strangle. This term later evolved into worien, which meant grabbing another creature by the throat with your teeth and shaking it to death. Gulp.

Honey, that hitchiker is not going to strangle me today!

Instead, I choose to leave every person, every circumstance, every concern at the foot of the Cross and draw near to the One who knows me best and loves me most.

 “Father, thank you for providing for my every need. Thank you that I don’t have to spend my days consumed with worry; I can be consumed with You. No need enters my life for which you have not already planned and provided. I choose to keep anxiety from cluttering my heart, and instead let it be filled with You. Amen.”

Jennifer Kennedy Dean

 May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit  bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2021 Lucinda Secrest McDowell      www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com


  1. Daphne Woodall on September 22, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Ouch! I’m in that camp more than I like. It’s like a yo-yo. I let them go, then rein them back in for a spell.

    What’s the difference between worry and caring? Thanks for the reminder Lucinda.

  2. Maggie+Rowe on September 22, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    That same hitchhiker has thumbed a ride with me many a time, and I regret letting him in. Personally it’s not my choice to worry – it seems to be an involuntary reaction to present events manifesting physical feelings identical to deep concern – but I do have agency when it comes to responding to those awful sensations in my gut and brain. Prayer and spiritual release along with friends sharing the burden is the only thing that severs the connection for me. Stopping now to intercede for whatever has you in its teeth. Thanks for this relevant post, Cindy.

    • Jessie Barker on September 22, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Chuckling & grateful for your encouraging words & reminded of 2Chron20:22 . How battles (physical/spiritual) have been/are won as we enter into worship! TYJESUS for turning our worries/prayers into praise!

  3. Waneta Calley on September 22, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Waneta on September 23, 2021.
    All of your messages are so encouraging and uplifting. This one came at a time when I really needed it. I’ve been worrying about a heath
    problem. I try not to worry but I suffer from depression and anxiety and it’s immensely difficult to let go and give my worries to God.
    But after reading your messages it helps me to trust God and know that he is always with me and will take care of me. Thank you Cindy.

  4. Jeannie+Waters on September 22, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    The hitchhiker is a perfect analogy for worry. Thank you for sharing powerful Scripture and the origin of the word to encourage us to leave this hitchhiker behind. As always, your words encourage me, Lucinda.

  5. Cindy G on September 22, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    “God is not pacing the throne room…” amazing visual.. He is seated on His throne, majestic and mighty, beckoning us to sit at His feet and know… “

  6. Crickett Keeth on September 22, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    So good! Once again, Lucinda, you spoke directly to my heart. Thank you!

  7. Brenda Kelly on September 22, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you for your timely words! I definitely needed to hear this.♥️🙏

  8. Maribeth Ditmars on September 22, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    I love the old English history behind the word. Strangle is exactly what worry does! When I start worrying I crank up my prayers.

  9. Ginny+McNamara on September 22, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    Wow Cindy! I needed this reminder. Thank-you.

  10. Gail Kittleson on September 22, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    What a great image of what worry does to people! Thanks, so needed in this time.

  11. Lisa Larsen Hill on September 22, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing and bless your words into our hearts, Lucinda! My word for the year is Trust. I didn’t understand why I choose this word, but my worries did. Can not count how many times I have uttered: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. When I do it is like a wonderful deep breath of comfort.

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