wor·ry [wur-ee, wuhr-ee] -ry·ing, noun, plural -ries.

verb (used without object)

[wur-ee, wuhr-ee] -ry·ing, noun, plural -ries.–verb (used without object)

1.to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts;fret.

This past July I had to see my doctors for my annual health checkup and lab tests. I will spare you all the gory details, but it is enough to say that I was poked and prodded just about every place you could be poked and prodded.  As I waited for the results of my tests I began to do something that I normally to do not do.  I began to worry. I seemed unable to control the thoughts swirling around in my brain. I was sure that the doctor was going to find cancer although I felt fine, and I began a conversation with myself in my head.

“How would I handle the treatment? How would my husband handle a diagnosis of cancer? What about my kids? Would I lose my hair? Would I lose weight…hmm..that might be a plus. What if I can’t make my son’s wedding?  How would I continue to work? How would we make it financially? Boy I’m glad I bought that Affleck insurance.”  On and on the thoughts swirled around in my brain stirring up worry, fear, anxiety, and even panic. My fears and worries were put to rest when all my tests came back clean. But the whole experience left me wondering how my friends who really had something to worry about, …don’t..worry that is.

Jesus said in Matthew 6 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The Bible is filled with stories of saints who endured much hardship and suffering.  As I read the story of Job I wonder how he did it, how did he come through all his suffering still believing in God. Sometimes I forget that Job was not some mythical superhero but a real man who suffered tragedy upon tragedy. The nature of his trial was so immense it would have caused the strongest among us to do as Job’s wife suggested, “curse God and die.”  And yet he did not. Why? How? Job’s hope was in God and his one desire was to see God’s face. (Job 19)

Worry takes root in our hearts and lives when we live for more, desire more than God and God alone. Worry stems from wanting to arrange our lives our way, and not trusting God to arrange them His way. Jesus said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:11) The key to relinquishing worry is remembering that we have a good and just Father who gives good gifts to his children. Sometimes though we do not like how those gifts come wrapped.

When we worry we are really telling God that we do not trust Him or his ability to handle our situation, or our lives, and we can do better. We take God off the throne and put ourselves there instead basically setting ourselves up as God. Worry is another form of idol worship and the idol we are worshipping is ourselves.

So how do we stop it? Is it as easy as saying “Trust and Obey”?  The key is to trust and obey but it is not easy. The difficulty is that we must reprogram our lives, our thoughts, and our actions to place our own welfare in the hands of another, our heavenly Father.  And just as we trust people more once we get to know them, so we trust God more the better we know Him.  We must do a lot of “self-talk” , telling ourselves not to worry and handing those thoughts over to God on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. There is a lot of truth to what Mark Twain once said, “Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it. “

Six years ago after an earthquake rattled Paso Robles, I remember talking to my friend Scott.  I asked him how they faired during the quake and how his three-year old son Dayton handled it. Scott said that when the quake hit he scooped up Dayton and ran for the garage doorway. He held little Dayton in his arms and shielded him as much as possible. Once the shaking stopped and they all relaxed, Scott’s wife Happy asked Dayton if he was scared.  “No”, he replied. “I wasn’t scared because I was in Daddy’s arms.”

Dayton knew a simple truth which is often difficult for most of us “grown-ups” to grasp. When earthquake’s come and shake our world; when the bricks and mortar of our lives start to crumble, we need neither fear nor worry because our Father holds us safely in His arms. When we trust our Father and His goodness because of how well we know Him, then we can rest and not worry. No matter what type of earthquake has rattled your world; physical, spiritual or emotional, run to your heavenly Father. Lay your burdens at His feet and climb into His arms. Rest there. Let Him comfort you, reassure you, and cradle you with His all-sufficient power and love. Rest yourself in the safety of your Father’s arms.


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