|Photo courtesy of Sabrina Bailey from The Red Room Photography.|
On Monday I did a post about how worrying is a pointless activity that most of us like to waste time on. For today’s worship-filled Wednesday post, I’m going to dive into that further. Don’t worry if you haven’t read “The Rocking Chair” post yet; you don’t have to. However, if you are interested, you can read it here.
So many of us spend time worrying about our pasts and/or futures. We think that what we did in the past was stupid or some choice we made led us to where we are now, and if we had just made a different choice things would be so much better. What we sometimes fail to recognize is that the past is the past and nothing we do can change what happened. The good news is that no matter what our pasts are like, we have a God who loves us. You can read more about that in my “Identity Crisis” post.
I like to make plans. Seriously. I will make plans for tomorrow at least five times a day. Before I go to bed I think, “OK, I will wake up and do this, then this, then this, then this,” and on and on until I’ve basically planned out my entire day. But the Bible tells us that it’s not up to us what our tomorrows will bring.
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” James 4: 13-15
I have a MudLove bracelet that I got to support children’s cancer. It says “be still.” I try to wear it every day so that when I start to worry I will be able to look down and remember that it’s not my job to figure everything out; it’s my job to be still. The bracelet even has a period. So even if I want to protest, it’s like it tells me “Be still. No ands, ifs, or buts about it!” (Sidenote: my bracelet doesn’t really talk to me. That would just make me crazy, and I am NOT crazy… yet.)
The Bible specifically tells us not to worry. Jesus himself tells us that worrying is pointless! So why do we insist on doing it? Is it that we don’t trust Him to take care of us? Maybe it’s that we don’t trust Him to take care of us the way we want to be taken care of, which is probably one of the stupidest things ever. God is God. We are not God. God knows what we need even before we know what we need.
“‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?’” Matthew 6: 25-27
Corrie ten Boom says it this way: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows. It empties today of its strength.” We are so busy worrying about what might or might not happen that we fail to carpe diem. We are deliberately sabotaging our happiness and we do it time and again.
“‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6: 34
Why do we continually waste time worrying about our futures when Jesus specifically tells us not to? Maybe it’s not that we don’t trust Him; perhaps it’s more that we just don’t remember. That’s why it’s so important for us to read the Bible and delve into His word. Memorizing scripture isn’t something people do just for fun; they do it because it is a weapon against earthly matters, including worrying.
Now I don’t know this for certain, but maybe if we spent less time worrying and more time reading the Bible to see what it says about worrying we would worry a bit less. It’s definitely a habit I need to practice more.