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!
Anna Smit says
Thank you for your honesty here, Jennifer. It’s not easy admitting our struggles. I still worry at times, but my mentor at church really helped me by pointing out the word “cast” in this Scripture: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” She told me to think about the strength of that word: about it being physically throwing our cares (worries) upon Jesus. If you look closely you see David doing that repeatedly. He worried, but didn’t sit in it because he “cast” it upon “the LORD”. I’m slowly learning to do this: which sometimes even means getting angry at God and questioning Him…the more honest I am, the more He can release me…for the honesty is a type of confession of my distrust…because essentially that is what worrying is- not trusting God…for ultimately our human hearts are deceitful…but Christ in us is not and can free us from it through His Word and Spirit…where we “cast” our worries upon Him. Hugs! You are not alone xx
YES! I love that Anna! Thank you for sharing. Hope you have a great week sweet friend.
Chelsey Coffey says
I’m with you, friend! Worry stinks and you’re right, it does not produce any good. Thank you for your encouragement today.
It is a struggle, but I think the more I put words Thanks for reading friend. Hope you have a great week!
Girl, I promise I had not read this before I just posted. Neighbor from #OpenMicMonday …
Eeek!!! The shelter part got me. Just been opening up about our home buying process, that one minute is fine then the next seems like it could fall through. I shouldn’t make a big deal out of it, or idolize it for sure, It was just a neat blessing after 10 years of job loss after job loss for us. So I feel ya- I do!! My heart resonated with your words so deeply, because I have young kids and my hubs is now a veteran but also had to be deployed to a war zone not long ago. It was like your were in my head haha. You are right about what the Word says. And though I know it is there, I choose to do it anyways sometimes. I am so thankful God is merciful or we would all be doomed! Thank you for sharing your heart, girl. This was a remarkable message. Be blessed!
Thanks Meghan. Home buying is such a stressful thing! So happy to connect with you here. God is so good to give us the words we need to hear sometimes isn’t He? 🙂 Have a great week!
I absolutely LOVE this! Getting into the deeper meanings behind scripture often takes our understanding of God’s word to a brand new level. And it’s wonderful!! I never knew the differences in those verses — don’t start worrying, and stop if you already are. And in the middle is God — right there alongside us, and perfectly in control of everything ahead of us. Life is about drawing nearer to Him and being refined as we learn to surrender ourselves in all things. ❤️ Beautiful post!
Yes! I love how you said in the middle is God. 🙂
Amen, Amen, Amen my friend! From one recovered worrier to another-well said, well done! #JesusandCoffee
Thanks Jill 🙂
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros says
This resonates so much with me. I’m a worry wart. By golly. I need to be steadfast in coming to the Lord with my petition. Thank you so much for this post. And thank you for being so very honest. So much of us struggle with this. Glad this is linked to Open Mic Monday for the soul at Cisneros Cafe. Have a blessed rest of your week, my friend.