A profound phenomenon accompanies our problems and struggles – worry. When problems break through our ineffective strategies to be safe, worry is usually our companion. I had written a couple of weeks ago that we would talk about trust in our everyday life. How we worry is the everyday living out of our trust.
“Cast all your cares upon Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matthew 6:31-32)
Worry is the second half of our seeking of security on our own. We may not always see it that way, but that is how it plays out. It is either (a) the symptom of trying to seek our own security, or (b) the solution we have chosen to find our own security.
What do I mean? Sometimes we worry because we have a problem that doesn’t have an easy answer. We live in fear that the answer won’t come. We have anxiety because we believe that we are stuck. For the one who has trusted in Jesus, our verses for the day ask a pointed question, “Aren’t you worth more than the birds of the air that God takes care of everyday?”
You see, this type of worry is a symptom. It is a symptom of our desire to have a security that we are in control of. We want to be able to stop the storms at our command. That is why we worry. What is the answer? The answer is to believe in the love of God for you. Our culture says that you should take care of yourself and look out for number one because no one else will. I think that even Christians have absorbed this. This is why our trust of God’s love for us is so shaky. The everyday problems of life reinforce the lie that God does not love us as much as He says He does. We overlook the everyday blessings. Wouldn’t it be great if we did the opposite? Let’s notice the everyday blessings that tell us how much God loves us and overlook the everyday problems! What a change we would experience!
For some, worry is their solution to their problems. They worry because (as one mother put it to me recently), “No one else is!” This type of worry is an attempt to solve the security problem. It says, “If I worry enough, I can anticipate problems and find solutions for them.” I am a problem solver. I like finding solutions to problems. However, I must admit that I cannot solve the problems that I would worry about. I can’t protect my adult children from making poor choices. I can’t stop the unforeseeable from happening. I can’t make my political and religious leaders do the right thing. My worrying will not force any of those things that are out of my control to do what I want them to do.
So then, why do I do it? The answer is simple: pride. I want to have that super power. I want to force my children to make wise choices. I want to see the future so I can mold it to my will. I want to force leaders to do what I want them to do. The passage above that encourages us to cast all our cares upon Him is a response to another encouragement: “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.” (emphasis mine) God knew this other reason we worry. We don’t just worry because we doubt that God will work in our life. We also worry because we believe we can solve our problems on our own.
So, what’s the answer? Stop believing in your own power. Stop believing in your own plans for those you love. Let God be God by bringing Him your concerns and leave them in His hands. I know, the common response is – shouldn’t I do something? The answer is – sure – if it is your thing to do. However, if you have to sacrifice your trust in God or living by His Word to “fix” the problems in your life… think again. Living by our own strength is neither worth it nor is it effective.
Both of these types of worry are dealt with through prayer. The first is a prayer of longing to understand the depths of God’s love. The second is a prayer of repentance for attempting to take God’s rightful place as the King of our life. We will find ourselves praying both types of prayer over the course of our lives. Sometimes we doubt God’s love. Sometimes we start believing in our own power to save. For both, we need to come back to God and find His love and power again. They are always sufficient. They are always there.
Something to think about,