Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wasted Worry.

"But mommy I need you to stay with me, I'm scared."  Followed by a long list of "what ifs"...  What if someone comes in my room, what if ghosts are real, what if I have a bad dream, what if I can't find you.  All of these concerns coming from a three old with eyelids too heavy to stay open.  So, last night I stayed by his bed, until he was all the way asleep.   And guess what???  None of that happened.  He fell asleep and slept peacefully through the night, waking up to the sun shining through his window.   All that worry, over nothing. 

Easy for me to call his childish fears silly, but what about mine?  I just spent the last few weeks worrying about VBS and how it was going to fit in my life.  How would I have time to decorate and how could I accomplish what I wanted to do without help?  What would I do with my little guys so they wouldn't be in my way?  What about this, what about that.  And every step of the way God met me there with help he already provided.  

Yesterday was the first day of VBS and I worried that my room was still not done and that I had left a mess the day before to clean up, but I was running a little late and so I started to panic that I wouldn't have time to get it done...  when we finally got through traffic and made it to the church I rushed upstairs to my room and found it perfectly in order.  Two little angels had cleaned it all up for me.  Worry wasted.

I worried that my 3 year old would have a hard time going to his class and staying there for 3 hours, even though his sister was one of the helpers.  I imagined him crying his way through the week.  I imagined trying to teach my class with him hanging on my hip.  I imagined  him refusing to go and then having to worry about what to do with him all week.  He's having a great time even though he hasn't left my side in church ever without crying the whole time.  Wasted worry.

I worry about money, I worry about my kids and their future, I worry about screwing them up and sending them to counseling, I worry about food, I worry about the people I love dying, I worry about what people think about me, I just worry.   So much of the time my worry is completely wasted. 

When I'm reading Exodus and I see God leading his people out of Egypt, I see me.  They panic EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. they face an obstacle.  They have just witnessed God destroy the greatest nation on the face of the earth with 10 severe plagues, all while being supernaturally protected, and Egypt's mighty Pharaoh beg them to leave, as his people throw gold and jewelry and other valuables at them and Oh, how they praise the Lord.  Until they are standing at the Red Sea with Pharaoh's army breathing down their neck...  and then it's all "Moses, why did you bring us out here?   Are we just gonna die in the wilderness?  Why didn't we just stay as slaves in the Egypt where it WAS BETTER FOR US?"  

OK WHAT???  You just prayed for 400 years to be freed from slavery.  What???  God just demonstrated HIS awesome power on your behalf and the greatest king on Earth was humbled so completely that he just set a nation of slaves FREE.   Why are you freaking out?  

We know the story...  Moses prays the water splits, they walk through ON DRY LAND, the army follows and the waves crash down on them drowning Pharaoh's army.   NOW WHAT?  Surely, Israel, you will never doubt again?  Nope!  Time after time they freak out and Moses prays and God provides. 

Even though I read through Exodus shaking my head, I can't judge the Israelites.  I do the same thing.  I've seen God do stuff only He could do.  I've prayed and He's answered.  There has never been a time when I have prayed, taking my worry to the Lord, that He did not provide an answer.   There have been lots of times that I have worried about stuff that never happened.  There have been many times I worried and fretted and tried to figure out things on my own, making my situation worse.  BUT, there has never been a time that I prayed and God didn't answer. 

I look back on the last few weeks I wasted worrying and I wish I could take all that back.  I wish I would have rested in knowing that my God is good and He's got all this.  I wish I would have remembered all the times He has moved mountains for me, but I didn't.  VBS was just my little worry, I had some much bigger worries and He worked those out too, leaving me awestruck once again that the God who created all that I see, knows my name and sees my situation and He is working on my behalf. 

In Paul's letters to the church, he begins by saying, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father."  That word grace means "unmerited favor" but it can also have the idea of God's "stored up help" for his people in times of trouble.   The word peace also can refer to many forms of peace, and one of those being "tranquility of mind that frees the Christian from fear and anxiety."   Paul wanted to remind his audience that the All powerful  Creator was their Father and they had no reason to fear or be anxious. 

Psalms 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very (abundantly available) present help in trouble."

vs 10 "Be still and know that I am God." 

The same God who parted the Red Sea and humbled an Egyptian Pharaoh is the same God, who wants to help you.  I say wants to help you, because it's up to you!  Do you want help?  Ask... Jesus said you have to ask believing...  sometimes I ask, but I struggle to believe.  Confess that unbelief.  I prayed this last week for a BIG miracle and I didn't see any way that my prayer could be answered, but My Father in heaven already had the answer...  He was just waiting for me to pray! 

"Be anxious for NOTHING; but in everything BY PRAYER and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the PEACE OF GOD, which passes understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:6-7

The whole Bible is one long story of humans having a problem (sin) and without hope and God sending the answer through Jesus Christ, his son, to fix our problem...  IF God would go to such lengths to help his people overcome their eternal problem, why would He withhold his help in our little problems? 

What are you wasting worry on this week?  Take it the your Helper, He's already working it out!

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