Monday, April 6, 2009

Why Worry?

The above photo is a picture of the grass I stood over this morning while I sipped my coffee. It's the same grass that should've been covered with three to six inches of snow: the very snow that people began buzzing about Friday night. I was on a field trip to Chicago over the weekend and frequent weather updates and text messages were coming in on various cell phones regarding the incoming storm, which was, as usual, now sounding a bit more like a blizzard than the three inches of your typical Wisconsin spring snow flurry! So when I woke up this morning and looked out the window, I had to laugh. It made me think how God is once again testing us to see where we're at on the worry meter. As my son put it, "All that worry to no avail."

But what about the big things in life: worrying about an addicted loved one, an impending divorce, a job loss, the car breaking down or our child getting hurt? What's going on when we worry about these things? Many people think that if they don't worry they are being cocky, smug or nonchalant. Some people think that to not worry is to not care. But that's a worldly perspective. From God's perspective, worry is absolutely worthless because it accomplishes absolutely nothing.

Instead, God wants us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). One of the ways we can renew our minds is to replace worry with a trust in God. This is an intentional, active trust that is never uncaring or lazy. It was probably one of the most difficult things to do when I was a new Christian because I had not yet experienced the results of trusting in God. It's like going off the high dive the first time. We're terrified because we've never experienced the exhilaration and joy that comes with jumping off a high dive. But as soon as we do it, we're climbing the ladder to do it again.

Proverbs 3:5 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” If we are a new Christian, we must not lean on our understanding of how we dealt with things in the past. And those of us who have walked with Christ for a long time must be careful not to trust God on a limited basis and only in certain situations. Trust is our only joy and hope in the midst of tragedy, misunderstanding, uncertainty and loss. Trust is what gets us through every time. Worry is a dead end.

We can worry and the snow may come—maybe even worse than predicted. Or we can worry and the snow doesn't come at all. And God asks, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:27; Luke 12:25)

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20

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