Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it gets you nowhere. Glenn Turner, New Zealand athlete.
This past winter has been trying and I sat too long in that “rocking chair,” worrying over life situations.
* I had several major, expensive problems with my house, possibly with long-term consequences.
* A group I help lead experienced major conflict over a period of several months; I don’t deal well with that and yet was often looked to for answers and resolution when all I wanted was just to be free of it.
* In February, my car had transmission problems that almost stranded my daughter and me an hour from home.
* Then the COVID-19 outbreak descended upon us.
Now it’s May. I just this week took care of the last of the repairs needed for my home–and found out it wasn’t as bad as I’d projected with many hours of worry. The conflict in the group gradually worked itself out without any major change in personal relationships. My daughter and I arrived home safely; the warranty I purchased when I bought my used car covered most of the repairs and a friend who works at the dealership gave me a discount on the bill. And it appears we’re now moving toward the other side of the COVID-19 crisis. All that worry and eventually each situation was resolved.
Rick Hamlin (Daily Guideposts, 2019, December 4) states: I have a way of keeping anxiety as a close companion, not willing to let it go. I invite it in for just a moment and then give it the run of the house. a worry floats into my head, and instead of batting it away or even putting it into God’s capable hands, I build it up, feed it tidbits of more worry, and soon the worries have multiplied, putting me in a stranglehold.
What an apt description! Am I the only one who does this? I think not. Let’s look at some scriptures that I, for one, should have plastered all over my house.
“Cast your burden on the Lord–he will support you! God will never let the righteous be shaken!” (Psalm 55:22 CEV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
Note the active verbs: cast, trust, lean not, submit, come, present. It’s a choice. We can choose to give our worries to God or we can choose to stay in the rocking chair or feed our worries until they multiply into a stranglehold. I need this lesson, often on a daily basis. I want to make the right choice–do you?
Father, help me and all those reading this, to cast our cares on you, to trust in you and lean on you, to come to you with our fears and worries. Lord, we don’t want to be fearful. Help us to make the right choices in life’s situations. Amen