Tag Archive | worry

Worry

Philippians 4:6-  Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (HCSB)

Worry.  We worry as children and we worry as adults. Some things we worried about as children now seem trivial, but some worries are the same — we never seem to outgrow the worry about being liked and making new friends! As children, our worries involved our parents. As adults, our worries involve our children.  As adults of a certain age, our worries involve both our children and our parents. No one is completely unaffected by worry, but Matthew 6:25-30 lets us know that God had made provisions for His followers, and if God takes such pride in the wildflowers, why do we question that He will take pride in us and do what’s best for us?  There are physical consequences for being enslaved to worry, and Jesus is reminding us to not get so preoccupied with the getting that we ignore God’s giving. We can be aware of what we eat and what we wear without worrying constantly about it. Most of the time when we worry about how we look, we are only trying to impress others anyway! Verse 32 says that idolaters worry about these things, and what are idolaters but people who don’t know God and therefore don’t know His works. But, as believers, we know God; we know how He works, but sometimes we lack the faith to trust Him. Our focus gets stuck on the problem rather than the God who can solve the problem, and that begins to affect our witness to others. If we get all worked up and come apart at the seams over our needs not being met in the way we want in the time we want, then we are not demonstrating trust and faith in God. A.W. Tozer said, “While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who hasn’t surrendered His authority.” Psalm 50:14-15 tells us that God wants us to trust Him in times of trouble so He can rescue us and we can give Him glory.  Giving God glory keeps us from worrying because we then focus on Who God is, focus on His knowledge of us, and focus on His love for us. We’re not looking at our desire for food, clothes, etc., we’re looking at the One who provides them and we’re looking at His power and ability to make them available. We have a choice when it comes to worry — either run after the things of the world or have faith and trust God. Verse 33 tells us what to do first in any situation, and verse 34 tells us the worthlessness of worrying about the future. We don’t know what the next days or even the next hours might bring.  I was recently talking to someone who made the statement “At 7:30 that morning my husband and I were planning that night’s dinner; at 9:00 I was a widow.” We are not promised tomorrow so we need to make our lives count for God right now.  God has everything under control.  He has never failed us before and He is not going to fail us this time. It’s natural to feel anxious about the dangers in the world today. It’s normal to feel worried about the troubles in our lives or in our children’s lives or in our parent’s lives. Yet our response to these feelings is what’s critical. Philippians 4:6-7 says instead of worrying, tell God about it and He will give you peace.  Rachel Wojo calls that going from pitiful worrier to prayerful warrior, and that’s where I want to go!

Knowing and Believing and Scared and Worried

We have known and have believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. 1 John 4:16

 

I have a friend whose daughter recently had surgery. Doctors promised that after the surgery, she would be “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!” Maybe that’s not exactly what they said, but they did make grand promises and painted a picture of an outcome that would make the pain and physical therapy seem trivial. Those promises have proven to be as empty as Superman’s pod. The doctors are baffled at some of the things that have happened and have expressed their confusion during many consults and conversations.   But, no matter the variety of comments made during the various consults, each doctor always ended with “It will get better.” That is supposed to be encouraging, but better than it is now is still worse than it was! Her parents are strong believers in the Lord, but their spirits are dragging from seeing their child suffer. My friend is wiping her child’s tears as exercising therapy becomes excruciating torture, is cheering her child on as walking the steps feels more like climbing the mountain, facing each new day with a big smile while silently crying in her bedroom every night. Crying into her pillow and crying out to God. Someone once said, “The hardest part of being a parent is that you can’t stop the world from hurting your child. You can only be there to ease the pain.” But, she can’t ease the pain; she can only watch the pain. Watch and wonder and worry . John MacDuff reminds us that we need to “Trust God where you cannot see Him. Do not try to penetrate the cloud He brings over you; rather look to the bow that is on it. The mystery is God’s; the promise is yours.” My friend knows that this is just a season of their lives, a difficult and discouraging season but just a season. There are times when the dark night of discouragement tries to block the light of God’s promises. There are times when she feels the night will never end and begins to doubt the dawning of a better day. There are times when she feels alone, even as she clings to Jesus’ promise that He is always with us. There are times when we all have emotions that spin and tumble much like a child’s toy, but no matter what our emotions are telling us, Jesus tells us that He has control over the storm (Mark 4:37-40). As moms we worry about our children. We suffer when they are in pain. We smile so they will be encouraged and sob because we are so discouraged. We cry out “Lord, don’t You care?” Jesus says to us as He said to the storm in verse 39, “be still.” Sometimes we beg God not to be silent, but maybe He is silent so that we will be too. Like the disciples, we get scared and we want God to make the scary part go away. But, while we are busy being frantic and scared, He just wants us to be faithful and still. He wants us to feel His presence and know that His presence is enough. My friend is very strong – strong in her faith, strong in her parenting, and strong in her body and spirit. Lord, I ask You today to help her be strong in the knowledge that You are always with her.