I have a hidden talent that I have honed all my life. Depending upon the season of life and circumstances, I could be called an expert. This talent is not something to be proud of. It is not healthy or truthful. It involves self-worship, and it does not produce fruit that lasts and encourages.
That talent is worry. I can tell you where all the verses are found to encourage releasing my anxiety to God–Matthew 6, Philippians 4, 1 Peter 5. I have even worried about worrying so much. It is a talent that has been passed down in my family including worrying about what others think, worrying about doing things perfectly, worrying about what happens next, worrying about how I am coming across. I am a firm believer in God’s sovereignty, but if I am a worrier, do I really believe?
In Crazy Love by Francis Chan he explains that
‘worry implies that we don’t quite trust God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.’
‘stress says that things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.’
This sentence got me–‘ basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life in somehow exceptional.’ Gulp.
More than any sin, I think we can encourage one another to worry. There is this fine line between listening to someone vent and feeding mistrust in God.
Lately, I might be sounding like a broken record with infertility. I am given the opportunity every day to walk in my hidden talent or walk by trusting in his grace and strength. More than any situation in my life, I have been reminded that I am not in control. (I think marriage to Greg has taught me that, too) I cannot open my womb–no amount of hormones or standing on my head or old wives tales can create life. Even no amount of worrying prayer and bargaining with God will bring life to my womb. You know what I mean by worrying prayer—“God will make it happen if I pray in this way with these people and I pray enough and I try to be as good and trusting as I can.” Let me know how that works because there are 13 year old girls and drug addicts not praying who get pregnant every day. We, as believers, are not given what we “deserve” in life (good or bad)–God is a wonderfully mysterious God of grace. My greatest worry is probably Greg’s age and mine–“how will I be a good mom when I am older? what if I die and leave my children? what if it is not convenient or too hard? what if I have quadruplets?” You get the picture.
Here’s the problem, I think I am god. And, that is a huge problem–I have put another god before Him and have made an idol. In the words of Dr. Phil, “how’s that working for me?” The problem then is not the circumstance of infertility. The problem is my adulterous heart that is looking somewhere else and worshipping someone other than the amazing Lord that is my King. It is not okay to worry. Like any other sin, I must confess and repent and remember the forgiveness of the cross. I choose to remember the truth that Christ is my righteousness–he trusted the Father perfectly. I admit that I am a poor god, and I am reminded of His character–infinitely faithful (I am finitely fickle). Then, my sin is exchanged for worship and awe.
Chan expounds that worry and stress ‘declare our tendency to forget that we have been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.’
Who is God? Creator, Sustainer of life, Redeemer, Deliverer, Giver of life, Just, Merciful Father, Good, The only one worthy to be praised, Everlasting, Sovereign…and much more.
His purposes are high above ours–and better than our finite wishes, and He invites us with Him. The problem–we cling to our finite wishes and treasures instead of letting the debris go and trusting His character. These last few weeks I have been faced with the temptation for anxiety at every turn, but I can say that I have been purposefully looking to Him for TODAY and trusting Him for TODAY. I do not want to borrow worries from tomorrow, and I have enjoyed today more than worrying about tomorrow (not perfectly). This is His grace because I have been on hormones that I have made me irritable and cloudy and tired. May I remember His faithfulness and trust His ways above my own understanding! Maybe I can develop some helpful hidden talents with the time that I would have been worrying!
One thought on “A hidden talent…”
Your post really hit home for me because I am a natural born worrywart. I am so worried about things that I cannot control that I often neglect to live in the moment that I have been given…I am so there with you! I so appreciate your thoughts about worrying about infertility because I have walked that road as well.
Ironically, as a mother, I have quickly discovered that the temptations to worry and wallow in my own “managing my future and outcome” now extends to my children so I fully appreciate your concerns about your infertility struggles and all the “what if’s”. You are so right. God is so faithful. I thank Him that He does not rely on me to manage anything because that is HIS job and His alone.
I recently struggled with fits of worry/fear as my children began school again. I have worried since they were born. “Now that they are about to be born, and are no longer in my womb, how will I protect them?” Those worries (read = distrust of God) have resurfaced themselves into things like:
– “Will they remember their 5-digit PIN to enter into the cafeteria system to purchase their lunch?”
– “Will they be able to handle the bullying and teasing that comes with being at school?”
– “Will they stay faithful to God this lifetime?”
– “Will they be molested or abused?”
– “Will they follow a well-meaning stranger and get abducted from the playground?”
Some of these worries can seem so trivial while some of these….let’s just say that there are days when they still overwhelm me to the point of agonizing and tear-drenched prayers over their sleeping bodies each night…and they are only 5 and 7! The devil is clearly having a field day with all this.
Finally, one night, as I was facing these fears again, I was drawn to a verse that spoke to me directly and on my fears/worries/struggles: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). It is a verse that I knew so well, but yet the Spirit led me to it to give me comfort to the fact that God Himself would be with my children (when is He not?) for all of the days that they lived with me and for the days when I am no longer physically with them.
I completely relate to what you are posting about. God lovingly used His Scripture to comfort me and convicted my heart! My worrying showed my disbelief for Scripture, that I am letting my circumstances control me, and I am ultimately not trusting God’s incredible promises and have allowed them to paralyze me!
I was relieved in God’s reminder that it was HE who had preserved His people generation after generation and that He is already ahead of me and is with my children and their children for all the days of their lives.
Thanks so much for your thoughts….I love your heart for Christ! 🙂 Thinking of and still praying for you!