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!