If you are a human, you have experienced worry. If you are a mom, you have experienced worry. We all have. It is human nature and instinct. Some of us worry more than others, but we all do it. My daughter is sick. My son is being bullied at school. My husband is deployed to a war zone. I think I might lose my job. There is more month than money. The list can go on and on can’t it?
I need to be upfront with you. This is a big struggle for me and always has been. Maybe it is part of my first-born, type A personality coming through . . . or maybe it is something more. I can’t tell you how many times in life I have been worried over something and have had someone tell me, “You shouldn’t worry! Just have faith that God is in control.” Have you heard something like this before? Or said it to someone else? I think it is supposed to make me feel better. But you know what? It never did. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe that God is in control. I have always considered myself to be a very faithful person and I have never doubted God’s control in my life. At least I never meant to.
I have always thought of worry as one of those things that God instilled in moms to protect our children. I remember when Ian was battling high fevers every month and the doctors kept saying it was a fever virus. I worried over that boy like it was my full-time job. I watched him like a hawk and with every whimper I wrote a log in my journal. Was it overkill? Maybe. Did I trust that God was in control? Yes. Was I being a protective momma bear? Absolutely! And you know what? My instincts were right! There was something much bigger brewing inside his little body. My point is, worry is one of those things that a lot of us brush of as something we do because we care. We don’t consider it a sin or a sign of weakness in our faith. It is just what we naturally do right?
This is a hard one for me to write friends . . . I need you to know that.
I can justify my thoughts and actions all day long, but what really matter is what Jesus has to say about them. When asking the questions that sparked this series on struggles, I honestly hoped no one would mention worry. Then I wouldn’t have to address it. Alas, it was one of the top answers given by women everywhere. We all struggle with it. Worry. So rather than telling you what I think about it, lets dig in and see what the Bible tells us about worry, because it has a lot to say regarding this struggle!
In Matthew 6:25 Jesus commanded His followers,
Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
If we look a little deeper at this verse, we discover that it is translated from the Greek meaning “stop being worried”. This implies that Jesus’s followers were already worrying. They were human, just like me and you. A little farther down we read in Matthew 6:31,
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’
Looking up the Greek translation in this verse it is a little different meaning “don’t start worrying”. I love this because Jesus is telling us if you are a worrier, quit it. And if you aren’t a worrier, don’t start.
In verse 25 the word “life” is translated in the Greek to “psuchē” and refers to the psychological life of the human soul, that is, the mind, emotion, and will. It is where we get the word psychology (ref.) I think this is talking about our physical earthly life here. Jesus is saying, don’t worry about this temporary stuff. Clothes, food, shelter are all earthly things and by focusing on them we develop earthly affections. That’s why God promises that He will provide all we need. This world is temporary, the bigger picture is eternity with Him. In short, our worry over these things draws our focus away from God and puts it on this world and ourselves.
My biggest struggles with worry comes not really over things in this world, but more in the worrying about the safety and health of my family. Are those the things Jesus was talking about above? Is it okay to worry about these type of things? This is where I want to justify my worry as acceptable to Christ. But the hard truth is, it isn’t. Scripture is full of verse after verse addressing worry.
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? – Luke 22:25-26
This one makes it pretty clear right? Worrying about my kids health and safety does not actually make them any safer. Worrying that Ian won’t be bullied does not make him stronger or the other kids nicer. Worrying does nothing to actually solve or improve this issue I am worrying about. When I read this verse above I feel kind of silly for being such a worrier. Am I just driving myself mad for no reason? Sounds like I am.
Corrie ten Boom is one of my favorite authors. She has an amazing story and I highly recommend any of her books (The Hiding Place is my favorite). She makes a great quote on this subject.
Living with worry is exhausting. It really does empty us of our strength. And all for what? What good does it produce? This is a struggle I am committing to work on in my life. Writing this series has helped open my own eyes to areas in my life where I am creating a struggle for myself. I trust God. I know He has me in His hand. My worry is not only disobedient to what His Word speaks to us, it is also like spinning my wheels in the mud. It gets me no where. I exert the limited energy I have in an area that produces no fruitfulness. It has to stop. It stops today. Are you with me?
This post is linked up with Carolina’s Open Mic Monday
Join us this week for #JesusandCoffee Linkup by clicking on the little blue frog below!