Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Nothing to Worry About"

Said the robin to the sparrow, “I should really like to know why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so?”
Said the sparrow to the robin, “Friend, I think that it must be that they have no heavenly Father such as cares for you and me.”
Elizabeth Cheny

Worry for some of us human beings is a way of life - it is the default response of our emotional make-up to any stimulus.

What makes us worry?

We are afraid of the unknown.
We are afraid that we will fail.
We are afraid that we may suffer.
We are afraid that things won’t turn out the way we want.
We are afraid that something bad will happen.
We are afraid for our loved ones’ safety or health or financial status.
We are afraid something may disturb our comfort zone.
We are afraid of what people may think of us.

The foundation or motivating factor of worry is fear.

God’s word tells us that ‘fear has torment’. (I John 4:18)­­
There is nothing like ‘worry’ to destroy our contentment, sap our strength, paralyze our ability to act, and put ulcers in our stomachs.

Worrying is not new to our generation… we come from a long line of worriers.

Abraham, our father of faith was a worrier.
He worried that God’s promise to give him a son would not come true. Ishmael is the result of his worries, and Ishmael’s descendents still trouble our world today. Abraham worried that the Egyptian king would desire Sarah’s beauty and kill him in order to take her. The result of his worries was a plague upon Pharaoh’s house, a reprimand to Abraham by Pharaoh, and Abraham being asked to leave Egypt. (Gen 12)

Job was a worrier.
Job 1:5 says, “So it was when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.”
He worried that perhaps his children had sinned. So just in case he sacrificed for them to cover their sins.
Then when he lost his wealth, his children, and his health Job proclaims, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.”
In the thousands of years since Job have we much changed?
Our financial situations, our children and our health – do not most of our worries fit into those same categories?

So often in scripture when an angel or God Himself appears to someone in the bible His first words are “Fear not!”
If fear is the foundation of our worries, then the logical conclusion is that without fear we could not worry.

I am by nature a worrier, but I have learned to worry much less than I used to.
One day in reading my bible I came across a verse that suddenly had that ‘Holy Spirit enlightening’ that is so special.
The verse was in Lam. 3:23.
Lamentations is the book written by Jeremiah who is called the weeping prophet. It is a book written with tears and heaviness of heart… perhaps even worries. But here we find the verse that says that God’s mercies and compassions are new every morning.
New every morning.
That reminded me of the manna that the Israelites gathered in the desert – food from heaven. If they gathered more than they could eat the day they gathered it, the leftovers were rotten by the next morning.
Suddenly, what my mind was illuminated to understand was that when we worry about something that MAY happen tomorrow it is a very heavy burden that we cannot carry because we must carry it in our own strength. God has not given us His strength or mercy to deal with it. He is the great I AM. Ever present in the present – today… not tomorrow!

When our long arm of worry reaches into the future, it reaches into the dark, and darkness brings fear, and fear flips on the worry switch.

When I find myself starting to worry about something, I ask myself. “Does the thing I’m worrying about have anything to do with today?” If the answer is no, then I tell myself, “OK, then you can worry about it tomorrow… you have enough to cope with today.”
The Manna God gives us every morning is specifically fitted for that day... it is of absolutely no use if we try to use it for our ‘worries’ about tomorrow!!

How do we get rid of fear? The bible tells us.
“Perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18)
Love? Not just any love, perfect love. Only God’s love is perfect …but if we completely trust in His love there will be no room for fear.
Selah! (Think on that!)

A small child does not worry – he has no fear – he trusts Mom and Dad will take care of it. Are we not to be like little children? Believing that there is nothing too big or too small that our Father will not take care of?

“Don’t worry!” is still something I need to be reminded of …as I have reminded myself in this post.

And remember – the greater your capacity to worry, the greater your capacity for faith!
Look at our examples of Abraham and Job!! Both went from worriers to great men of faith!

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (I John 4:18)

"For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things......
"Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matt.6:32,34)


Carolanne said...

The song you quoted in the first paragraph brings back memories and now it's running through my head and I'm trying to remember where I heard it/know it from. I can hear the male singer(s).

Lamentations 3:23 and a couple verses surrounding it, is one of my favourite passages of Scripture.

It was a well written, thought- provoking post, Julie. :)

Julie said...

Carolanne, I didn't know it was a song.. now you have me curious! If you remember where you heard it ..let me know!

Lovella ♥ said...

That is such a good post for me. I am a worrier and I'm often embarrassed to admit it.

Having been taught my whole life to trust and obey . .and the Lord will take care of me, I still fall into the deep rut of worry.

I'm selfishly glad to hear you struggle with it as well. Family. I guess the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree does it.
I will carry this with me today, thank you.

Sarah said...

I just read your post about your vision of Jesus. He is so good! Thank you for sharing that! I am beginning to become more alert to the reality of heaven and eternity than I ever have been (even though I've been a Christian most of my life). Anyway, thanks again for sharing and be blessed!

Kathy said...

I've been wondering at what point children expereince fear and now worry. I think it is pretty young and comes with the stage of imagination development. I was a fearful child. I would wake up in the night with fear - random fear - just the emotion. Weird. I may have been 7-8 - 9 maybe. Fortunately I knew I could go to my parents and that they were there for me no matter what. Interestly enough God used these times, especially with my dad up in the night, to reveal his heart for me. I'd sit on my dad's lap in our dark living room and he'd speak quietly and invite me to tell him about my fears. Then we'd work through them and I'd sit safely in his arms until my heart quieted and I could go back to sleep. All kinds of good Heavenly Father pictrures out of those interactions.

Kathy (linked from Demara)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, I have read it a couple of times since I found it, and it has really helped me. I am an anxious person and am even too scared to start my own blog in fear of doing the wrong thing per terms and conditions etc. I know it is unreasonable, but not easy to overcome. I have a deep love for God but anxiety so often gets the better of me.