What Works Better than Worryby Cynthia Jennings on June 29, 2022
A phone call came. Devasting news on the other end of the line. You listen intently. By the time you hang up the phone you feel a weight on your shoulders, like it all depends on you. You begin to worry. Thinking, this is what I can do. You carry the weight of the news like a dog with an old toy. You gnaw on it, bury it and dig it up time and time again. You carry the weight thinking, tossing ideas in your head, surely this will be helpful, certainly this will save the day.
I remember days like that. And I also remember while in that place of fear came a God-whisper in my heart. “Your worry cannot change that situation, only I can.”
Luke 12:25 says, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Who of us by worrying can make the prodigal child return home, the marriage be restored, the interview goes well, the safety of your children, the wrong be undone, will worrying change any of those situations? The answer……emphatically NO!
Worry is seductive because it feels like control. OUCH!! If we’re worrying then we must be taking action. If we’re taking action, we must be turning the situation around. If we’re turning the situation around then we are in control. But worry is only a distraction and deception. It’s a shiny object for us to chase to keep us from going to the One who can actually get it done.
When I realized this, it didn’t feel like a rebuke; it was actually a relief. Jesus, in all His gentleness and kindness, His extravagant mercy and care, has taken the magnitude of the weight off my shoulders and said, “it doesn’t depend on you.”
Honestly, isn’t this what we really want to know? That someone is taking care of it, of the situation, of the devastating news, or circumstance or thing that makes our pillow soggy with tears. This is what God says He will do. He looks out for the sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31 ESV) with their wispy feathers and fragile bones. God also looks out for us too, with our tender hearts and fragile lives(Proverbs 15:3 ESV; Psalm 121:8 ESV).
The blessing is, even when the worst comes, when everything shatters, He can make it (and us) whole again.
I remember those times when I received a phone call with devasting news, or news that made me anxious. But I also remember the time after one of those calls when I would whisper, “God I release this person, this situation to You.” As the days (weeks, months, years) would go on I would repeat that statement, adding more words because it takes more than one time to win the battle against worry. However, I’ve learned to be intentional in not chasing the shiny object of worry and go to the One who has all the control.
What frees our hearts isn’t worry; it’s worship. In other words, taking all the hard things to the God who cares for us. Choosing to trust and let go. Believing through Jesus Christ, He will mysteriously work it all together for our good.
Prayer: Father God, I’m so grateful that You can carry all of my worries. I place them in Your strong and capable hands today. I’m choosing to trust, to let go, and to believe You work all things for good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
PEARLStoPONDER: The One, Jesus Christ who has been able to bear the weight of the world on His shoulders is still strong and loving enough to carry all that concerns us too.
Matthew 6:25-34--25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Philippians 4:6--do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:11-13--Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.