What do you worry about?
• School – Where will I go to college/grad school?
• Tests – Will I pass the test?
• Job – Will I get the job?
• Relationships – Is he the right person to marry?
• Parents – What will my parents think?
• College – How will I pay for this?
• Money – How will I/we make it this month?
• Future – What will I do?
• Marriage – Whom will I marry?
• Wedding – How will I get all of the preparation done?
• Bills – Why did I buy this car? How will I ever pay for it?
• Decisions – Which job should I take?
• Children – What is my child doing?
• Your health – What if I have cancer?
• Your future – What is going to happen to me?
• A combination of a number of the above!
Worry is something that I know how to do. I suspect that when I worry I am primarily thinking about my own need to "fix" something and my utter inadequacy to do so. There are some things that you just can’t fix.
I can recall nights when I have lain in bed and imagined. Sometimes I relived the past (accompanied by some worry). I thought about a conversation or a meeting that took place and worried about the implications of it. At times I relived the past by imagining having made a different decision and then thinking about what might have been. At times I have worried about failures from the past.
At other times I have worried about the future. What is going to happen? Where will we live one day? What will we do?
I read again this week the familiar Scripture in Matthew 6:25-27.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
1. God invites us to trust in him regardless. I have a friend who inspects homes for a living. The other day I heard him say that when he pulls his truck in front of a house, he always prays before going to the front door. He prays for these people and prays that he will do a good job with this inspection. My friend understands that we are called to live in daily dependence upon the Lord.
2. God invites us to live in daily dependence even in the midst of a struggling economy. This is an opportunity for so many of us to learn a new kind of dependence on God.
3. God invites us to bring our anxiety before him in the context of faith. This is not a call to some sort of indifference to what is happening in our world, economy, culture, etc. The key to dealing with anxiety and worry is not indifference but faith in God. This allows us to stare reality in the face and deal with the hard, cold facts of life.
Perhaps those of us who are church leaders/pastors/ministers/etc. would do well to follow Hezekiah’s example in II Kings 19:14ff when he faced an impossible situation with Sennacherib, king of Assyria. He prayed, "…Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God." Some things just can’t be fixed and simply need to be given over to God.
The good news is that you cannot fix so many things that are broken in your life or ministry. Yet, we are not called to be a people who have a fix for whatever might be broken. Rather, we are a people who hand it over to God.