Luke 12:25 (NIV)
You know the feeling…it starts small…like a tiny voice somewhere in the far corners of your brain. You try to ignore it, but it demands to be heard and, like a child crying for food, it grows and grows until you can no longer deny that it is there.
Worry. That’s its name. Worry. It creeps up on you, one seemingly insignificant nudging at a time, until it spreads into an enormous stranglehold that threatens to leave you gasping for air.
I am not proud of it but I am the self-appointed Queen of Worry. What do I have to worry about, you ask? Well, let’s see. I worry:
* about my kids when they are small, when they grow up, when they go to college, when they get married (or don’t), when they have children (or don’t); when they apply for a job; when they drive in ice or snow or rain, when they don’t call me back immediately when I call them.
* about my job, my body fat, my crooked teeth.
* about my husband, my marriage, my cooking, my messy house.
* about my neighbors, politics, the economy.
* about what people will think about me, say about me, like or not like about me.
* about what happened yesterday, today and might happen tomorrow.
And yet, Jesus looks at us, His children, and asks this question in Luke 12:25: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Why is it that, as Christians, we allow worry a sip of our coffee, a chapter in our book, a place of honor at our dinner table? We hold it up like a three dimensional drawing and stare at it from every angle. And we do everything possible to justify why we have the right to worry.
Honestly, if anyone had a right to worry it would have been Jesus. Just think about what He was facing – death on the Cross – and yet He went straight to His Father with everything He was facing. So should we.
I read a devotional from Max Lucado. In it, he states that worry is both “irrelevant and irreverent.” I can’t get that statement out of my mind. When I worry, it does absolutely nothing to direct a problem in my life to its conclusion any more than throwing a pebble in a roaring river will change the course of that river.
What it DOES do is to affect my outlook, my health and my heart because worry causes me to focus on the problem and not on Jesus. It separates me from the peace that can only be found in Him because – hear me, please – worry is a three letter word called sin. How can that be?
First, worry is irrelevant. All the worrying that I entertain in my mind and heart will never ever EVER make a situation better or solve a problem or bring me peace of mind.
Not one time have I told a friend “I have really been worrying about that problem.” and had them respond “Oh, thank you! I feel so much better now. I know that everything will work out because you have been worrying!”
Second, worry is irreverent. Worry is admitting that I do not believe the Lord is able to do what He says He can- and will – do in my life and in the lives of those I love. Worry is a complete lack of trust in a Father who is Creator of all things and the Beginning and End of everything.
Again and again in Scripture, we are told not to worry but rather to “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2 (NIV). Never are we told to “Devote yourselves to worrying…”
Today I intend to give up my crown as the Queen of Worry as I kick it out of my heart and mind and replace it with Truth that can only be found in Him. Care to join me?
Father, I confess that I have kept the sin of worry in my heart. I do not want to give it a place of honor any longer in my life. So I give my worries over to you this very minute. Please replace them with your peace. I trust you to take care of me in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
What’s your very first response when a problem hits? Worry or prayer?
Why do you believe you respond in that way?
Keep a journal of problems or situations that have occurred in your life and how you initially responded.
Write a promise from Scripture beside each problem or situation that will help you replace worry and panic with trust and peace.
Luke 12:25 (NIV) “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV) “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 important than food and the body more important than clothes?”
Matthew 6:34 (NIV) “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Philippians 4:6 (NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Psalm 55:22 (NIV) “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing and information about her books, check out her blog Encouragement from the War Room.)