Read Genesis 33
Focus on verse 4
When God is watching your back – as He was for Jacob – there is really no reason to worry, yet Jacob did, and most of us do the same. God had by this time told Jacob several times that He was watching over him and would bless him. God had also proven this in the interaction with Laban. Yet now when Jacob heard that Esau was coming to meet him with four hundred men… he understandably gets a little anxious and wisely takes a few precautions. As it turns out, his precautions appear to have been unnecessary.
But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. (v. 4)
The number times in the past that I have worried about situations that turned out to be not worth worrying about, are more than I have been able to keep track of, and I suspect there may yet be a few more ahead of me yet. It is in our nature to worry, to imagine the worst scenario, and it is not always a bad thing to be prepared for the worst even if it does not occur. There is a subtle difference however, between preparing for the worst and worrying.
In the New Testament Paul writes
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6)
When we prepare for the worst by presenting our worries to God and trusting Him with the result, it can help to reduce the anxiety we feel. This is good advice to take to heart, yet admittedly difficult to put into practice… particularly when you are facing what appears to be an angry big brother who was threatening to kill you last time you saw him, and who is reportedly approaching with a small army.