“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” – Part of a cool parable from the Bible
“It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when yesterday’s pains and tomorrow’s burdens are added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourselves down so, my friends. If you find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God’s. He begs you to leave the past and the future to Him and only to mind the present.” — George MacDonald
“Be anxious for nothing.” – St. Paul
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – St. Peter
“Do not worry about your life.” – Jesus Christ
I get so worried about my life sometimes.
Worried that my son Shade is in pain from his tonsil surgery.
Worried about being a good dad.
Worried about being a good “custom-fit” dad for each kid.
Worried about being a good dad-figure for kids without dads.
Worried about being a good husband.
Worried about whether my definition of “good husband” is good.
Worried about my lack of self-discipline.
Worried about the job I’m doing.
Worried about being a good friend.
Worried about being a good team member.
Worried about being a good “custom-fit” team member for each team member.
Worried about money.
Worried about wanting to give more money than I have.
Worried about people’s negative perception of me.
Worried about people’s positive perception of me.
Worried about the church I used to run with.
Worried about the church I currently run with.
Worried about “getting it right”.
Worried about “getting it wrong.”
Worried about lunch.
Worried about getting enough rest.
Basically, I sometimes worry about my life.
Oh, it’s for sure the exact opposite of what Jesus tells me to do. And being the Jesus groupie that I am (like Peter, and Paul, who said similar things about worry), you’d think I’d just simply obey him.
And I do. On most days, I’m happy to say, I do. But then, even on some of those days, I worry that I’m not worrying enough. That I’m being irresponsible, or lazy, or un-diligent, or inappropriately passive or apathetic.
That’s the height of futility in this arena…worrying about being a worrier.
I’m not buying the whole, “Jesus said don’t worry about your life, but that’s just a good ideal to ‘shoot for’, God doesn’t expect you to actually achieve it.”
Nope. I think the whole ideal is attainable. I think every “unattainable” ideal in the Bible is attainable. Except for one group of people: For those who don’t think it’s attainable for them, they’re right. For everyone else who think it is, they’re right too.
Can you go without worrying for 1 whole day? No? How about for 1 hour? No? One minute? Okay, let’s say you can say yes to one minute. Then can you go 2 minutes? Yes? Then how about 4? No? Well, if you can go 2 minutes, then can you do it twice? Yes? Then you can go 4 minutes!
Okay…so maybe I’m underhandedly trying to get us all to reconsider our position about things. But I’m telling you, if we asked Jesus, “What? Don’t worry? Is that possible?” I think He would answer, “With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
And that is always, always, always how I stop worrying when it sets in. I get “with God”. I practice His presence and all worry seems to fade away. It takes yesterdays burdens off, and tomorrows burdens off, and the burden of the day that is left never seems too big for me.
I’ll admit that sometimes I indulge in worry knowing that that is exactly what I am doing. I don’t know why I do that. Laziness maybe. Self-pity party, maybe. Whatever the reason is, I’m not too worried about it.
But other times it comes crashing down on me without choice. And every time, the solution to it is the same (and no, it is not the circumstances changing or working themselves out…and it is not taking action). It is remembering that God is present, that He loves me, and that He is not foiled in what He plans to do in me and through me and to me no matter what I do or how I perform.
He is very, very good. I love Him.