Don’t worry while you work
Think for a minute. What is one thing you worry about?
I’m thinking some top choices include kids, spouses, money, job security, parent’s health, safety. Am I right?
Worry is defined as being anxious, to fret. Anxious is defined as deeply concerned or troubled.
I was a worrier growing up. I remember my mother telling me that I would surely have an ulcer by the time I was 21 if I didn’t stop worrying over everything.
And guess what? That worried me!
The good news is I worried myself into a different way of thinking. I began to look around at people who didn’t seem to worry and asked myself what were they doing that I wasn’t doing? I even asked teachers in Bible studies I attended. One verse was constantly quoted to me. You can probably quote it:
“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7
So, I began to do just that. I began turning my worries over to God. And it was hard—especially any worries that involved my kids—like the possibility of someone kidnapping them or them getting run over while riding their bikes.
But gradually I did do better. It wasn’t until I discovered another verse before the often-quoted verse 7—verse 6.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
Let’s look for a minute at the context of this verse. I’m learning more and more about the value of context.
At this time, Peter had grown up some from being the brash young man who had denied knowing Jesus. He was now considered a church father, a leader. He was leading at a time when admitting you followed Jesus could mean you would be thrown to wild animals in the coliseum. He was very aware of the fear and worry his people were feeling.
He felt an obligation to provide words of comfort and encouragement to the people who followed Jesus. He understood their worries because he had lived through very trying times himself.
So, he offered them a very simple strategy—Give your worries to the Lord. It’s almost too simple. It’s like Dr. Laura’s strategy for weight loss. If you’ve never heard her before, she says her weight loss book would only contain four words—Eat less, move more. How simple is that? Her simple approach comes from understanding the principle involved in weight loss. That principle is if we burn more calories than we take in, we will loss weight.
Peter’s simple approach is a result of truly understanding God’s power and abilities. Peter knew this firsthand, and it starts with something Peter struggled with a little bit–humility.
Humility requires that we admit God is more capable than we are at handling your troubles. When you really think about it, anxiety is a very subtle form of pride. For when we worry, we must be telling ourselves one of three things:
- God is unaware of my problems.
- God is unconcerned about my problems
- God is unable to handle my problems.
Let’s break those down:
Unaware-I don’t think so. In Jesus’ own words in Matthew, He says, “Even the very hairs on your head are numbered, so don’t be afraid.” I think God is very aware.
Unconcerned-Again, I don’t think so. The very end of the verse we’re studying says, “because He cares for you.” I think God is very concerned.
Unable to handle your problems- Even Veggie Tales knows that God is Bigger than the Boogieman, He’s bigger than Godzilla, or the monsters on TV. And if that isn’t enough, there are so many scriptures that let us know that you can not have a problem God hasn’t seen yet and can’t handle. When Sadie, my granddaughter, was little, she would say, “I’ve been there and I’m not afraid to go back.” God has been there and He’s not afraid to go back. Later in Peter 5 it says, “God will restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”
Let’s look at the very end of that verse as we wind this up. “Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up.”
Have you ever watched the tiniest cheerleader they call the flyer? If you’re the mom of that child, that’s something to worry about, isn’t it?
What does she have to be thinking to let three guys or girls toss her in the air?
- They are totally aware of me.
- They are absolutely concerned about my every move.
- They can handle the situation.
In other words, she has had to humble herself, which means think less of herself and more the ones who really control the trick. She knows that not only is she not in control of the trick, but she cannot be in control, if the trick is going to work. The three bases are in total control. She’s just being thrown around. But, the result, if she depends on her flyers and lets them do their job, is a magnificent display that has the audience gasping in awe of her trick.
Think how much more God is aware of you, is absolutely concerned about your every move, how much He wants to handle your problems and how high you will be able to fly once you let Him be your base and you just relax and enjoy the journey.
You will gasp in awe at the tricks God can do.
The next time you begin to worry and fret, remember that it’s your God who parted the Red Sea and it’s your God who fed the 5000 and it’s your God who raises people from the dead. He has solutions to your problems that you could never even dream about.
Now, go out and have worry-free week!