The Waste of Worry

08fba0fIt will come as absolutely no shock to those that know me that I am a worrier. If there was a Worrier’s Anonymous, I would need to be at every meeting. I worry about all the classic things: the future, money, my kids, the car breaking down, my job – they are all sources of worry and because of that, sources of stress. I also worry about a lot of stuff that others don’t. I worry about turning the ceiling fan on high because it could come loose and decapitate me (especially if I’m the one who installed it!) And ironically, I worry about whether I worry too much.

In all seriousness, I often catch myself worrying about all this STUFF that I think I am in charge of. Am I serving enough at church? Am I going to let someone around me down because I didn’t do enough? Am I doing what I need to do for my wife and kids? Is there something I need to be doing around the house so that it doesn’t fall down around me or look bad? Am I doing what I should be doing at work to ensure that I advance and don’t get fired? I can get caught up in all of this stuff that I think is my responsibility and spend a lot of time worrying about it.

But God reminded me this week that this mindset is ultimately a rejection of his rule over my life and a lack of faith that he is going to do what he has promised to do. It is a very prideful thing to start believing that I am responsible for all of these things in my life and the worry takes off because deep down I know that I’m not smart enough or strong enough to hold it all together by myself. I can work as hard as I possibly can and bad things are still going to happen from time to time. Can you see how this is all a product of a focus on myself rather than a focus on God? I get worried because I forget to look to God as the one who is in charge – not me.

I’m like the disciples in Mark 4:35-41. They are in the boat and this huge storm comes up. It doesn’t specifically say, but I’m sure they had been battling that storm for a while, trying very hard to keep the boat afloat, before somebody went to find Jesus asleep. I can totally relate to their frustration: “Do you even care that we are about to die?!” But Jesus rightfully told them that the problem was their lack of faith and he immediately calmed the storm with a sentence.

Jesus speaks directly to me when he says in Matthew 6, “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” and then two of my favorite verses in 6:33-34: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

As God reminded me of this truth from His Word this week, an old hymn came to mind – “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” I’ve linked the video below. When you turn your eyes on Jesus, get them off of yourself, and remember who is really in charge, as the hymn says, “the things of this earth grow strangely dim.”

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