Friday, July 23, 2010

Worry Warts

I recently wrote an article for our Women's Ministry eNewsletter. Just wanted to share it with you guys, as well.

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

As women, we worry a lot. In fact, some of us could make a pretty successful career out of it. For the most part, we think we have a pretty good reason to worry. We feel justified and call it “concern.” Justified or not, concerned or not – the fact is we let it consume us to the point of constant worrying.

We worry about every aspect of our lives. We worry about our husbands, kids, and home. We worry about our cars, jobs, and finances. We worry about our hair, wardrobe, and weight. Ultimately, worry about our past, present, and future. Why do we do this to ourselves? We were created to be caring and nurturing, but somehow we’ve turned it into controlling and worrying about anything and everything.

Take another look at that list. What do you notice? It’s all about possession. They’re my kids – I’m supposed to worry about them. He’s my husband… It’s my house… It’s my future… But ladies, Psalms 100:3 says “Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” [emphasis added] By allowing ourselves to worry about all of these things, we’re claiming them as our own. When we cling so closely to those things in our lives that feel so important, we’re not allowing God, in his sovereignty, to hold them close. We regularly say we trust Him. We sing songs about how we’ve given our lives to Him – our whole lives – and yet, within ourselves, we find it necessary to hold on to bits and pieces that we feel most connected to or responsible for.

These things that we care about most; these people that we care about the most – we’re picking them up as if we are a small child that thinks it’s strong enough to carry something heavy by itself. And just as that child pulls away when you try to help, we’re pulling ourselves farther from God, and saying, “God, I know You’re good and perfect. I know You created them with Your own hands, but I can do it. I can take it from here.” And God, in his gentleness, let’s us try. We struggle, grunt, and strain to do it on our own, but ultimately we’re not successful. So we worry.

Other than a headache and countless other health problems, excessive worrying gets us no where. Matthew 6:27 says “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” There is no benefit associated with worry. Not one.

Each time we worry, we’re turning our back on the God who loves us. Instead of entrusting him with every ounce of our lives, we’re taking the reins. We’re so consumed with “possibilities” and “maybes” and the thought of “what if” that we have caused ourselves to sin. We’re sinning when we’re focusing on these things rather than God, just as an adulterer turns her attention on her lover, rather than her groom. That sin then pulls us even farther from God and, before we realize what has happened, we’re caught in this deep pit of worry.

Even in that moment… in that pit, God, in His mercy, loves us still. He doesn’t just leave us there to figure things out, but He picks us up, dusts us off, and tells us to cast our cares onto Him. Not only does He forgive us for worrying, but He actually offers to carry the load FOR us! Psalms 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” When we do that, the worries, the concerns, the anxieties no longer weigh us down, and we’re free to live the life he’s designed for us.

The next time you feel overwhelmed with concern or find yourself worrying excessively, remember that He has a plan and a purpose for you. He’s on your side! He won’t harm you, but has promised you hope and a future. And at the end of the day, he’s the only one who knows what it is, so why bother worrying about it when the very creator of our existence is waiting, arms opened to us, and willing to have us walk through it together.


Jaime said...

Sarah- I pink fluffy glitttery heart topped in chocolate and caramel and anything else super yummy love this!
So good. So true!!!!
Great job.