Wednesday, January 14, 2009

back to basics

If there was a group/meeting for folks who have a problem with worrying, I'd probably be president.

Hi. My name is Kasey and I'm a worrier.

I've mentioned before how I've been struggling with fear. Well, it's not hard to figure out that Worry is Fear's best friend. Because, they walk hand in hand with one another, everywhere.

Worry spurs on Fear, encouraging her growth more and more every day. And if you, being the host of such a pest, aren't paying attention, you can think that a struggle with Fear is the sole root of your problem.

But you'd be wrong.

Worry. Fretting. Letting your thoughts of all the possible "what ifs" get out of control. That's where it begins. Worry is the foot-in-the-door for Fear.

I've been a worrier for as long as I can remember. Yes, even as a child. I specifically remember being on a swing, in either the 2nd or 3rd grade, having a conversation with my friend about a particular worry/fear I had at that point. And even though I was so young, I assure you, it was quite a "legitimate" concern for a person of any age. And so it began.

Worrying.

I've told you before how I believe coincidences are divine interventions, right? Well, I found it beautifully coincidental that our pastor has recently been talking about this very thing. And an even more beautiful coincidence is that even with Adam and I having to rotate which services we go to, so that the other can stay home with Ethan, "my times" were both during our pastors back to back message about Worry. See, God knows what we need, even before we ask.

In his messages, our pastor explained further about what God has to say about worrying. It's from a passage in Matthew 6 that I'm quite familiar with, however, was in desperate need to hear again. And during his messages, I finally understood that trying not to fear or be afraid of the future, wasn't ever going to work successfully if I didn't first stop worrying. Because I don't know about you, but I never worry about good things happening... I worry only about the bad things happening. Which of course then leads to being afraid of such things happening. Vicious circle I assure you.

Anyway, God's whole point on the matter is to not do it. Do not worry. In fact, He commands us not to worry. And if we are worrying, He commands us to stop. Here, see for yourself....

Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ ...For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things....

Essentially, this passage of the Bible is telling us that there is no point to worrying. We can't add a day to our life by worrying, we actually can't change anything by worrying about it. And by worrying about our life, we're exerting little faith. Bottom line, when we worry, we're not trusting the Lord will take care of us. It sounds so simplistic, but it's been quite profound to me as of late.

I've always justified my worrying by assuming I was being "responsible". If I could plan out all the "next steps" in my mind.... play out the worst case scenario.... then I'd be prepared. Isn't the boy scout code something about 'always be prepared'? Well, that's how I saw worrying. I'm just preparing myself. Being a responsible _______ (fill in the blank - mother, wife, daughter, person, etc). But all I've been preparing myself for, is feeling so afraid of what might be coming down the road that I lose sight of the simple pleasures of the current day/moment. And all the while, displeasing the very God of grace Who has dealt so kindly to me.

I've spent the last couple of days purposefully NOT worrying. About anything. And I'll be honest, I've felt a little irresponsible - which is absurd! But, I have. If I'm not actively worrying about something, then I'm not prepared to handle it if/when "it" comes. But it's such backwards thinking, and directly opposite to the Lord's command. Do not worry. Do not worry about anything. Philippians 4:6 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

So that's what I'm doing. When a worry tries to creep in. I pray and hand it over to the Lord. And continue the thought instead with how thankful I am for the things/people in my life. It's quite simple. And I'm doing the right thing by not letting worries cloud my mind... my life. And I gotta tell you, being this "irresponsible" never felt so good.

1 comment:

Jennifer Wiser said...

Kasey,
I so needed this this morning. You and I are so much alike - and I too have been a worrier since a very young age - matter of fact, I've always been called the "worry wart" of the family :-) not a nice term of endearment, but nonetheless - I have acquired this because I can't seem to conquer it. I turn it over to the Lord and it seems I always yank it back from Him even though I know I'm much better off without the cares of this world. However, of late, I've been letting worry and fear take over in my thinking about Alex again too. Its horrible - I spend my days watching him and monitoring his every sniffle, cough, and movement thinking there must be something more to this cold - than just a cold. I keep forgetting (well, I believe Satan is allowing me to find other things to fill my time) than reading the Bible and get my assurance of God's ability and comfort and help in times of my need. My husband gently reminds me this is winter, he is still a little immune compromised, he is a 3 year old who goes to preschool and Cubbies and Sunday School and Childrens Church - he is bound to get sick - but even though logically speaking I should grasp it - I don't. I worry instead and then I've been fearful for each day the past couple of weeks. I needed this today, and I thank you!!! I continue to lift you all up in prayer and know our God is able to do above all that we ask or imagine - He continues to amaze me each day - and yet, I doubt His ability to carry my daily load.
Hugs from Michigan