Why Worry Doesn't Work

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina’s Diary and you’ll find spiritual gems. Like this one:

When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyze it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him: “You can do all things.” And then I keep silent, because I know that Jesus Himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him. (1033)

If only we could all handle anxiety like St. Faustina. Instead, many of us spend much of our lives analyzing and probing into the burdens we bear, burdens that are beyond our strength. 

Why do we have the tendency to over-analyze our problems? Worrying gives us a sense that we are problem solving — that we are in control. Many of us desperately want to be in control. We want certainty about the future. We want to know that everything will be OK. 

But we need to come to grips with the truth: In this fallen, chaotic world, there is only so much that we have power over. All we can do is try our best to do the Lord’s will and leave the rest to Him. 

Saint Faustina confidently released her desires for control over to the Lord because she recognized her own limitations. Just as importantly, she trusted that God could “do all things.” She knew that if God truly desired something for her, He would allow it to happen, and if God truly wanted to spare her of something, He would take it away. She trusted that the Lord had a purpose and plan for her life, down to the last detail. The same is true for you. Sometimes, it may be hard to see God’s plan for you, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t have one.

Consider the anguish Christ suffered facing His Passion. He was so overwhelmed by distress that He sweat blood. During those moments, it didn’t look like God had a plan. But of course, that wasn’t the end of the story. Jesus rose from the dead! Ultimately, the evil Christ endured served the most glorious purpose. 

The same can be said for your suffering. You can either worry about it and try to escape it. Or with God’s help, you can embrace it and look forward to the fruit your pain and suffering will ultimately bear.

Worry brings us nothing but more trouble. We need to recognize a simple truth: If you’re worried about future pain and suffering, you’re already suffering! You’re better off doing what St. Faustina learned to do — handing everything over to the Lord and trusting Him to take care of everything.  

We don’t have as much power over our lives as we might like. But thank God, He has the ultimate power. As long as we keep turning to Him when burdens overwhelm us, He will see us through. The more we turn our burdens over to Him, the more we will see just how effective trust truly is — and in comparison, just how little worrying works in our favor.  


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