This past week has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for my wife and I. First she was sick and we rushed her to hospital. Then things looked like they were getting better, but suddenly she was hurried off for emergency surgery. Then, just when we thought we were out of the woods, more complications…
And so when this morning, 4 days after her discharge, she started complaining of pain my mind was already in overdrive. We were going to have to take her back to hospital. Probably another operation. This time it’s really bad.
In actual fact, it was just normal post-operative pain. But I’d allowed anxiety and worry to strangle me.
Too often in life we expend so much energy worrying about things that might never happen.
Now, some things I think we will always worry about. Our health, our children. But there are so many other things – things that in the grand scheme dont really matter that much, that I find myself wasting mental energy on. I think Jesus knew this about us. 13 times in the gospels He says these words, “Don’t worry.”
He says things like “Don’t worry about about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Mt 6:34). He tells us not to worry in times when we are under pressure (Mk 13:11) or to get stressed over the issues of “everyday life” that seem to crowd around us (Lk 12:22).
And then he says these amazing words: “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can’t do little things like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? (Lk 12:26)
He makes a good point.
You see, worrying is a bit like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.
So how do we stop worrying? Well, I’m not really sure. But I know these words of Paul can bring perspective and comfort.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
What a beautiful promise.
Lord, help me not to worry about tomorrow and to take each day as it comes. Let my petitions and praises shape my worries into prayers. And may Your peace settle upon me and displace worry in my life.