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Monday, August 15, 2011

Worrying adds nothing

Worry adds nothing to your life.

Its so easy to worry about things that many times, we don't even realize we are worrying. Worry has become such a natural part of our existence that we have even categorized it into productive and unproductive worrying. I know this because there are things in my life that are under my control that I worry about and then there are things that I can't control that I worry about.

Worry about how people viewed me used to preoccupy my thoughts. I wanted to maintain an image to the world that was both respectable and enticing. It consumed my thoughts and made me behave in ways I never thought I would. I arranged my entire life including my decisions and social life to accommodate my desire to be viewed in a certain way. This was masked by utilizing my friendliness to build an image that makes me look good instead of bringing glory to God. I've realized that any indirect making God look good, isn't good strategy on our part, it's just God redeeming our sin. Our calling as Christians is to receive the love of God and love others as a result of that love we receive from God.

Worrying about the future is the hardest thing for me to deal with. On the one hand, one of my strengths according to Strengths Finder 2.0 is "Futuristic." It basically says that the future excites me and I can easily paint a grand picture of the future since I can so easy get there in my mind. The problem with this if not just taken as a tool to be used by God to grant people a sense of vision and hope is that I become anxious since I want the future to become the present, now. Patience gets thrown out the window, I become worried about things not working out, and then I get preoccupied by the anxiety that comes from waiting and not knowing what will exactly happen. Its like waiting for Christmas, but wondering how Santa will get into the chimney you don't have in a high rise you live in where the security is constantly watching 24/7. All the worry is pointless.

This worrying was always masked with a sense of duty and obligation to do something greater, instead of truly being faithful to what I have been given now. In the name of progress, I put God in my pocket and told Him that He couldn't come out until I figured everything out and solved everything on my own. The distinction was always subtle because I acknowledged God, but I never really trusted Him. Instead, everything I did was frantic, there was no peace in my heart, and I jumped every time I got a phone call or an e-mail. I was at the mercy of whatever I was pursuing.

The problem with worry is that it is very real. The problems we worry about are generally problems that merit stress and anxiety because so much rides on them. The salvation of someone that is close to us, the job we need to get, the acceptance letter from the college, or even the text from the really cute girl that you asked out are all very real issues that are very close to the heart.

The reason that worrying is pointless is because God is in control and as His children, we can move His hand through prayer. Hebrews 11:6 points out that "without faith, it is impossible to please God." If you really think about this, God is saying, "with faith, you WILL please God." The reason this is so profound is because at the end of the day, we all have very little control over what happens in our life. Just the other day, I heard about a car crash that killed a family, a young 20-something boy that fell off a cliff while hiking in Southern California, and people losing millions of dollars because people no longer have confidence in the stock market. We can barely control what other people do on the road as we drive to the market, what makes us think that we can control any more than a fraction of our lives?

God tells us to take a step back and climb a mountain. From the mountain top, when we look down, we don't see any one person's problem. Instead, we just see the entire city from one end to the other. Then we look to the left, then the right, then behind us and see that the lands and the seas span further than our eyes can see. Then you have to come to grips with the reality that since people cannot keep this all in place, God must be the one doing it. Government fails, economies fail, families fail, heck, even churches fail, but God, He never fails. He says, trust me for that is what faith is.

Worry is the demonstration of a lack of trust in a God that is completely trustworthy. He holds the entire universe in His hands and he zooms into us and says, I want to know you, to do you no harm, to keep you safe, and have you get to know me. Don't worry about anything because I am going to give you the best life you've ever imagined. There will be pain, but don't worry, its all for your good. Sometimes, it may seem like I've gone away, but I'm right behind you, watching you with love. If you think I'm not listening, quickly toss that belief aside, because I hear everything you are saying and want to give you more than what you ask for. Just trust me when I don't give you the things you think you want because I am going to give you something greater, Me! Faith casts out anxiety and love gives you confidence to keep trusting instead of worrying. Trust that God is good and that He knows what you need more than you think. When you rest in this, you will pray to God to bring about His will for your life, since you know that what He has in store for you could far exceed any bit of imagination and creativity you could muster up on your own.

God loves you, so don't worry! Be Happy!

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