Sometimes I worry.
I don’t think that I live each day in worry. But — I do know how to worry. Sometimes I notice that these worries seem to stand in line waiting for me to examine each one. One by one they parade in front of me, each one of them demanding time, space, and energy. Each one seems to be clamoring for my attention. I think about one of these and plan to move on to something else when another worry pops up demanding its own place in my mind.
Does this sound familiar to you? I suspect it does, at least to some of you.
I decided one day to write down every worry that I saw in the parade. I’ve got a list of them. In front of me at this moment is a "worry list" written in my journal. My worry list was not difficult to write. I encourage you to do this sometime. Just list everything that you see in your parade of worries.
- Worries related to your children.
- Worries related to your marriage or other significant relationships.
- Worries related to your health or the health of people who really matter to you.
- Worries related to your work.
- Worries related to your church or your personal ministry.
- Worries related to your finances.
Now maybe some of these are not in your parade, but I suspect that many of them are. Write down your worries. Be brief but specific.
The other day I was with a good friend at lunch and he said, "You know fear and faith always point to the future." He went on to say, "Fear anticipates the future. So does faith." Hmmm. In other words both of these are connected in some way to our view of the future.
Then I read Psalm 33. The author praises God for who he is. In particular, I like these lines:
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
Faithful. The Lord is faithful. When everything around me is uncertain, unpredictable, changing, and unstable, God is faithful. He is like the house in the middle of the hurricane that stands firm while everything else is blown away. He is like the mighty oak tree. He is stable, secure, and solid.
If I am living in him and he is living in me, my life takes on his stability and security. I become more and more solid. All of this is happening because I am holding on to God who is stable, secure, and solid. My life begins to take on more and more of his character.
Consequently, when my parade of worries begins, I want to focus on the one who is faithful instead of watching the parade. I want to place my life in his hands. If I focus on my parade of worries, fear will rule me. Fear will always paint a bleak picture of the future. I want to instead put my faith in the faithful one. I want to put my faith in the Lord who will never leave me or forsake me.
Maybe this will help you today. Maybe you too have a parade of worries that is demanding your attention. Keep your eyes focused on the one who is faithful. Hold on to the one who is your help, shield, and hope.
Psalm 33 closes with these words:
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.