Worrying is easy.
No one had to teach us how to do it.
Even babies are proficient. Oh, no, Mom is leaving me with this strange lady. Will Mom come back? Will I be here for ever? If I make a fuss and cry about it, will she change her mind? That’s a plan. I think I’ll scream and let her know that I’m worried about this situation.
Kids know how to do. I don’t want to go to school. I don’t understand that math problem. I don’t know how to use my Chromebook. I don’t have any friends and worry about what to say to those kids who are friendly to me. I think I’ll pretend I’m sick.
College kids worry. Will I pass? Where will I get the money for next semester? I wish I got along better with my roommate. I have too much homework this weekend. I’ll never get it done. What will I do after I graduate? Should I break off my relationship? I have a bad case of anxiety.
By the time we’re adults, we’re experts. After all, think about all those years of practice we’ve had. The least little thing can get us worrying.
Will my kids be ok in school? Did I put that new, red shirt in the washer with the white shirts? What should I do about that electric bill mix-up? I don’t like talking to people on the phone. Am I coming down with a cold? Should I clean up the kitchen or run to the store? I wonder how Aunt Ruth is doing. I should call her. Maybe I need to talk to someone about my stressed-out feelings.
This past couple years, I have had lots of experience worrying. Do I have the right day for the doctor appointment? Should I try the new treatment? Am I following the doctor’s instructions correctly? What will the side effects be? Why on the one day I need one of those kind, motherly nurses to answer my questions, do I get a male nurse who is looking forward to the end of my appointment so he can go drinking at his lake house and celebrate his birthday? Lord, I know I’m to trust in You, and I even worry about not trusting.
(One type of worry can be constructive. When a baby eventually understands that Mom is coming back , when grade-school boy finally gets advice on how to talk to a friendly classmate, when college student goes to a counselor about possible future plans, when I check on a doctor’s appointment to reassure myself that I have the right day. When we do something about these situations instead of letting them gnaw away at us, we can use those moments of concern to our advantage – but that’s not the kind of worry I’m talking about. I’m talking about those moments when the worry settles deep inside of us and we can’t think about anything other than what is eating way at our thoughts and emotions.)
Of course, I know what to do. Study God’s Word and figure out what He says about worry.
And this is what He says.
Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 55:22 – Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 56:3 – When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 94:19 – When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 31:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Luke 12:25-26 – And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Peter 5:7 – Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
As I read over these verses … and many others, I see a pattern. Do you?
When it comes to worrying … God tells us …
Don’t do it.
How good to remember those verses … and teach out kids to remember them too.