Me?, Worried?…

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Life seems to get in the way and worry can take over.  Parents worry about their children, children worry about their parents, people worry about money, their jobs, their health, their friendships and relationships, and the list goes on.  And worry can consume you. I speak from experience. However, if we know Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we forget that He spoke often about worry, and then Paul continued that tradition in his letters.

During, what we know as “The Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus addressed many different topic as he was speaking to those people who followed.  Some believed He was the Messiah, others were interested to see what He would do or say next, and others were just trying to catch Him in his own actions and words for blame, however, the message He gave was for each one.  One of the topics He addressed was worry. Matthew 6:25-34.

The word picture of His creation not worrying about the next meal, or water, or how it will look, but relying on Him to make them perfect.  If He takes care of the rest of His creation, why would He not take care of men and women, whom He created in His image?

The verse that rings true is verse 34, each day has enough worry within itself, why borrow from tomorrow with the “what if’s”, or even from the past with the “if only’s.” You can’t change the past.  The future is yet to come.  Don’t miss out on today because the worry about each of those takes you away from the moment.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

So, what does the Scripture tell us about how to take care of worry.  What needs to be our focus in today so that worry does not take over?  We have to think on the things of God.  I love what the Apostle Paul has to say on this subject to the Church at Philippi:

Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Our thoughts lead us to negativity and worry.  There is enough craziness in the world today without us dwelling on things that we must give over to God.

I would like to say that I am there… that I do not worry, but take everything to God in prayer first.  That I focus on the things of heaven and not the things of earth…  but if I said that I would not be truthful.  I worry about family, money, friendships, what other’s think, what is going on in the world.  So,even today, I must be working on allowing God to have control of every aspect of my life.  He knows every hair on my head, He created me, and He wants His best in my life.  Christian Artist Nichole Nordeman’s song “Small Enough” comes to mind. (see the end of this post for the lyrics)  God has demonstrated his amazing power over and over throughout history, and even in my life, yet I worry and second guess His plan for my life every day.  This is when I am thankful for His Grace and Mercy… and patience with me, because, honestly, I am a control freak.

I do not like surprises if I know they are coming…. When I go somewhere, I like to drive because I know that my life is not in the care of someone else, I am responsible,… I don’t like the unknown in relationships (as if there is a known… yeah, this one is pointless to try to be in control over, because it involves people….and people are unpredictable).  In all that control and desire for perfection comes worry.

 My hope is one day, I go through life and I live each day the person He created me to be and I can use Paul as an example… that through his persecution, imprisonment, and even his death, he sought to be content.  I pray that one day I can completely rely on God to live in me and through me.

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Until that day, I am thankful that each day is new, and I get a second chance to allow God to be God.  And hopefully, each day I worry less, letting God strengthen me and take care of the me, as He promised He would do.  That I relinquish the control and allow Him to take it… I think in word pictures.  So, here is one that I think of when thinking about this subject… helium balloons.

Things in my life that I worry about and fail to give over to God are like helium balloons.  I tend to release the balloon, but I keep hold of the string so I can yank it back whenever I feel out of control… when really, I need to just release it and let God take care of those things.

So what is it that you have to relinquish control of?  What are you worried about?  Take time to sit, think on the things of heaven, and relinquish control.  Let go of those balloons and learn to be content, relying on Him.

(click “Small Enough” by Nichole Nordeman to see the video)

Oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now
there were times when i was crying
from the dark of daniel’s den
and I have asked you once or twice
if you would part the sea again
but tonight I do not need a fiery pillar in the sky
just wanna know you’re gonna hold me if i start to cry
oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now 

oh, great god, be close enough to feel you now
there have been moments when i could not
face goliath on my own
and how could I forget we’ve marched around
our share of Jerichos
but i will not be setting out a fleece for you tonight
just wanna know that everything will be alright
oh great god, be close enough to feel you now 

all praise and all honor be
to the god of ancient mysteries
whose every sign and wonder turn the pages of our history
but tonight my heart is heavy
and i cannot keep from whispering this prayer
“are you there?” 

and i know you could leave writing on the wall
that’s just for me
or send wisdom while I’m sleeping,
like in Soloman’s sweet dreams
but i don’t need the strength of Samson
or a chariot in the end
just want to know that you still know how many hairs
are on my head
oh great god, be small enough to hear me now

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