If a parent or teacher failed to personally tell us, voices throughout history are eager to chime in:
“Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.” (William Ralph Inge)
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” (Corrie ten Boom)
“Pray, and let God worry.” (Martin Luther)
“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Yet for all the persuasive voices speaking all the compelling words, worry takes hold on our souls. What counter-move might we make against its persistent grip?
Charles Swindoll has offered this perspective:
“On the day Jesus was crucified, it would have appeared to anyone seeing through eyes of flesh that the darkness, the devil, and death had defeated the Son of God once and for all. I will admit that those three D’s lie at the root of almost every worry I suffer. I worry about DEATH – in particular, the death of the people I love. I worry about DARKNESS, both literal and figurative. I worry about what the DEVIL is up to. All three worked diligently throughout the ministry of Jesus to bring about this long and anguishing day. But what no one could see was that the Messiah’s death would strike at the very heart of evil.”
Worry results from allowing fear to imagine the invisible.
To be sure, there will always be an invisible realms–questions without answers, ventures without guarantees. Life, by its nature, is filled with blanks.
But the message of Scripture is that much of that space is filled by a God whose very nature is gracious and compassionate, slow to become angry and abounding in steadfast love. Seen most vividly in Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are dared to rein in our ability to quickly imagine the worst, in exchange for a freedom to steadily believe the best.
The Bible’s opening scene depicts a God of light that dwells in the darkness and a God of order than hovers over the chaos. As Swindoll said above, these lessons were re-affirmed for all time in what we thought were the darkest moments of all.
As God says numerous times in Scripture, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
And He is.
Even more than you would believe!
YOUR TURN: How do you handle fear? In what ways has your faith impacted your tendencies toward worry? YOUR COMMENTS MAKE THIS POST BETTER.
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