I was at breakfast with a friend this past weekend who was fretting about her daughter. Her adult, intelligent, capable daughter. My friend was worried about a project her daughter was planning to take on the next day and the potential complications that could arise. The fact that she had no involvement or control over the outcome herself didn’t stop her from being genuinely concerned.
Only half-kidding, I said, “Well, it’s good you’re worrying about it because one of these days that’s going to pay off for you.”
We both laughed at the absurdity of such a statement; who really thinks worrying is anything other than a complete waste of time?
The night I arrived, you know what I did? I laid awake for THREE HOURS worrying about the cold conditions at home.
What if the pipes freeze?
What if my daughter’s car won’t start and she can’t get to work?
What if the dog’s paws freeze to the ground when she goes out?
What if someone slips on the icy sidewalk and sues me?
And on and on.
And here’s what that little exercise accomplished: absolutely nothing. Well, except for robbing me of a good night’s sleep.
I don’t restrict myself to worrying about just personal issues, though. I wring my hands over terrorism and the future of the world. I agonize over Christians being persecuted and the possibility that I, too, will be called to suffer for my faith. I get all knotted up imagining the outcome of the upcoming presidential election (which, can I just point out, is TWO YEARS away).
I’m a professional worrier. Honestly, there comes a point when I have to turn off the TV news and disable the doomsday notifications on my smartphone to maintain my composure.
One morning – after a night of turning over all the possible negative outcomes in my mind – I read the following verse in the Psalms:
“There is no need to fear when times of trouble come, even though surrounded by enemies…Not one of them, though rich as kings, can ransom his own brother from the penalty of sin.” Psalm 49:5,7 (The Living Bible paraphrase)
That perspective was important to me. My enemies … our enemies … may have power, even life or death power. But they don’t have the kind of power that will ever affect my eternity.
And in the very next chapter was this:
“I want you to trust me in your times of trouble so I can rescue you and you can give me glory.” Psalm 50:15 (TLB)
The future is really not up to me; it helps me to remember that. If I’ve done all I can about the things I am responsible for, I am commanded to trust God from there. I’m to look for and expect His deliverance and then point to Him and “give Him glory”.
Author Max Lucado points out, “God promises a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105), not a crystal ball into the future. We do not need to know what will happen tomorrow. God is leading you. Leave tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow.”
I’ll be honest. You want to know when the worrying finally paid off for me? Never.
How it’s working for you?
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- Maybe This Will Help - February 10, 2017
- I’m Firing Olivia Pope - January 24, 2017
- I’m crossing some things off my list this year - January 11, 2017
- I learned a new word - November 30, 2016
- The best question I’m asking myself these days - July 18, 2016
- A tragic story with a tender twist - May 17, 2016
- Gosh, people are a mess - May 12, 2016
- I’ll take the red carnation, thank you – revisiting an odd tradition - May 2, 2016
- The surprising thing about “weakness” - April 20, 2016
- The holiness of a four-way stop - April 13, 2016