Every now and then I get caught up in the what-if’s. This afternoon was just such an occasion. I was worrying about something to the point that Neal asked me what was wrong. I unloaded my fears. “What if this happens….what if this doesn’t happen…?” Neal listened and reminded me that God is in control. I said, “I know but what if…..?” And I proceeded to try to get him to understand all my reasons for being concerned. He finally said,
“Even if the very worst scenario happens, God will be by your side and I’ll be on your other side.”
Okay, that was powerful. How comforting to know that, no matter what, God will never leave me and neither will my husband. That truth helped me take a deep breath and let go of the useless worrying. I thank God for His promise to always be with me (Heb. 13:5). I thank God for Neal’s wisdom and his commitment to caring for me. I know that next time my “anxieties multiply within me” (Psa. 94:19), I will recall the peace-giving image of God and Neal flanking either side of me.
I wonder how many others need those words said to them? I can think of individuals I know who are hurting and could probably use the reminder that they’re not alone. May I never get so caught up in my own little world that I neglect to comfort those around me. That’s part of the purpose of the church, right (Heb. 10:24-25)? I love knowing that I could go to another Christian with my fears or failures and be reminded of God’s faithfulness and their love. May I ever strive to be that Christian for others, too. I may not be able to solve problems or make the pain go away, but I can certainly hug more, pray more, and remind more that “God will be by your side and I’ll be on your other side.”
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another…1 Pet. 4:8.
Any fellow control freaks out there? With my sons growing up and going their own way, I’ve found myself struggling more with worry. My nightly prayers are filled with urgent requests for God to guide and protect my sons. Why the fear all of a sudden? I think it’s because I no longer have control. When the boys were little, I controlled everything…what they ate, when they went to bed, who their pals were. Now I have to figure out how to let go and truly turn them over to God. It dawns on me that I should’ve been doing more of that all along.
All this worrying is exhausting.
There’s the good kind of tired that comes from laboring for the Lord. Then there’s the tired-of-it-all that comes from running ahead of the Lord.
Parenting isn’t the only area that’s effected by the need to control. If my marriage gets rocky, I need to ask if I’m trying to lead or undermining my husband’s leadership. If I’m frustrated with my church family, it’s time to do some personal soul searching. Is my heart guilty of setting a standard for righteousness? If I’m honest, I’ll recognize what’s at the root of the control problem:
Pride. It gets in the way of acting wisely (Prov. 11:2).
Lack of trust. It assumes that I’m the only one who can get it right (Prov. 26:12).
Either ignorance of God’s plan or ignoring God’s plan. It takes the reigns from the One who knows best (Psa. 18:30).
When I’m overwrought with worry, I need to come down off my high horse. I’m acting as if I’m in the one in charge of keeping order instead of God. When I feel anxiety stealing my joy, it’s time to humble myself, let go through prayer, study God’s Word to learn His will, and trust.
Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.