Monday, January 19, 2009

To Worry or Not to Worry

I've been reading Max Lucado's book Traveling Light. It is about the 23rd Psalm and has opened my eyes to the Psalm in such an incredible way. Last night I was reading the chapter on verse 2, "He leads me beside still waters."

Don't worry, Lucado says. God is leading us. Now I won't go as far as to say that I like to worry but I do it often enough that you would think that I like it. I let the anxiety and pressure build to the point that I have to see my chiropractor to get my neck moving again. I fret about things that don't need fretting about and worry about things that are so far in the future it is a waste of time to even think about those things let alone worry about them.

So, last night's reading was eye opening. Allow me to share a passage from Traveling Light.

The burlap bag of worry. Cumbersome. Chunky. Unattractive. Scratchy. Hard to get a handle on. Irritating to carry and impossible to give away. No one wants your worries.

The truth be told, you don't want them either....Worry divides the mind. The biblical word for worry (merimnao) is a compound of two Greek words, merizo ("to divide") and nous ("the mind"). Anxiety splits our energy between today's priorities and tomorrow's problems. Part of our mind is on the now; the rest is on the not yet. The result is half-minded living.

"He leads me beside still waters," David declares. And, in case we missed the point, he repeats the phrase in the next verse: "He leads me in the patch of righteousness."

He leads me. God isn't behind me yelling, "Go." He is ahead of me, bidding, "Come!" He is in front, clearing the path, cutting the brush, showing the way. Just before the curve, he says, "Turn here."

He leads us. He tells us what we need to know when we need to know it. As a New Testament writer would affirm: "We will find grace to help us when we need it. (Heb. 4:16 NLT)....Could it be that God will reveal answers to you when the time comes.

The key is this: Meet today's problems with today's strength. Don't start tackling tomorrow's problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow's strength yet. You simply have enough for today.

Jesus said, "So don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matt. 6:34) Easy to say. Not always easy to do, right. We are so prone to worry....God is leading you. Leave tomorrow's problems until tomorrow. God isn't going to let you see the distant scene. So you might as well quit looking for it. He promises a lamp unto our feet, not a crystal ball into the future. We do not need to know what will happen tomorrow. We only need to know he leads us and "we will find grace to help us when we need it" (Heb 4:16 NLT).

Dr. Cury's book tells us to self-dialogue when the emotions of worry take over. My dialogue typically goes something like this, "If I don't worry, who will. If I don't worry now, I won't have time to worry later. If I don't worry, it won't take care of itself."

But with Lucado's reminder that "He leads me," I realize that God is taking care of it. God is doing the work for me. The future is not a worry because it is in God's hands and he will lead me. If only I will let me. I pray for grace on a daily basis, so now I will pray for God to lead me each day. Lead me and let me not worry. I set aside my past-time of worrying so God can "lead me beside still waters."


Tammy said...

Okay - so I really needed this today ;) Thank you for reminding me not to worry so much. Love the insight on the word "worry". I probably need to get his book and read it for myself.

Cynda Western Felini said...

I'm so glad it spoke to you too. I love this book. I will write more about it later. I would really love to buy a whole case of this book and just give them away. Too bad that money is an obstacle in that.