Thursday, November 6, 2008

Worry


There's a song I learned as a child, about Worry Warthog.

This African swine had a problem--he worried about everything--all day, everyday.

Part of the song goes like this: "If you want to look like me, just fear and dread and snort. And very soon, you'll break out with a great big worry wart!'

I used to think that was the funniest song as a kid. Who ever heard of getting a worry wart? I'd gotten other kinds of warts--but please, worrying doesn't give you warts.

No, it just keeps you from trusting God.

If you're anything like me, worrying is piece of cake to accomplish. I have an active imagination. I can envision the most terrible, horrible things happening. "What am I gonna do if I can't pay for school?? What if something happens to my family??? What if I get cancer?? What if our house burns down?? Oh no, we're all gonna diiiiiieeeeeeeee!!!!!"

Yes, I've thought each of those things before. It's amazing how something so seemingly harmless can take over your thoughts and actions so quickly. After all, worrying is one of those "white" sins, right? I mean you aren't killing someone, or holding up a convenience store.

So what's the big deal?

The big deal is that God says whatever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)

When we worry, we are essentially telling God He's not trustworthy--He's not good and faithful. We are, in essence, telling God He lied to us. That when He promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and supply all of our needs, He didn't mean it. And we have to work it all out ourselves.

The wonderful news is, we don't have to work it all out ourselves. We don't have to worry, and fear. God is faithful. God is good. He won't leave or forsake us. And He will provide every need.

Colossions 3:16 instructs us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.

It's a very basic principle--what goes in, is what comes out. If we fill our mind with doubts and fears and focusing on the problem, worry will inevitably come forth, and spill over into our actions.

But, if we fill our minds with God's promises, and the proof of His goodness and faithfulness, guess what comes out?

My older sister Rebecca was a great example of this.

Believe it or not, my sister and I are naturally rather shy. We both had to work on overcoming this through the Lord. Becca was always tacking Bible verses, about confidence in the Lord, up in our bathroom. Every time I brushed my teeth, I read them. Guess what God used anytime I feared or struggled with timidity?

The verses I always saw in the bathroom.

Reading our Bible is vital. Memorizing our Bible is vital. But I believe along with these two, God's word should become something we surround ourselves with.

Place verses on God's faithfulness and promises in strategic places around the house. In your bathroom. In your bedroom (my mom sometimes puts them on index cards and tucks them into her bedroom mirror). Even in your car. Anyplace that you will see them everyday.

The Bible truly is sharper than any two-edged sword. The more we see it and dwell on it, the more it takes root in our hearts; and with His word, God enables us to trust, instead of worry.

Now, I realize that there's a difference between worry and concern. Concern is merely acknowledging that yes, there is a problem, and no, you can't fix it. Concern turns into worry when we start believing God can't fix it either.

I'll admit honestly that I struggle with worry sometimes. It's not always easy to trust, but it is always possible through the Lord, and it is always necessary.

God is faithful! We don't need to be like Worry Warthog--

Because God knows the plans He has for us, for good and not evil, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)

Because God never changes--He will always be God. (Malachi 3:6)

Because God will supply our every need (Philipians 4:19)

Because God will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)

Because God's love for us endures forever (Psalm 136)

Because God is faithful in every generation (Psalm 89:1-2)

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

~Ira Stanphill

3 comments:

Valerie November 6, 2008 at 12:06 PM  

If you have a certain life-long virus, like me, worry CAN give you mouth sores. Which isn't the same as warts, but a lot more painful. ;-)

Good article, thought provoking.

MaureenE November 6, 2008 at 12:31 PM  

Great post, Deb. I worry far too much.

Rebecca November 6, 2008 at 1:21 PM  

thank you Deb!! wonderful post! I need daily reminders not to worry.

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