You want to know what I am worrying about?

  • ·         The expectations of my new school OF ME and the time I will have to devote at Carolina Day School  (what if I don’t have enough ‘maria-time’??????)
  • ·         Our shower basin will get so ‘grodily’ mildewed in the next two weeks that the buyer won’t want to close on our house
  • ·         That something else will break in our house and the buyer won’t want to close on our house
  • ·         That one or more of our kids/ grandkids will die
  • ·         The future illnesses/deaths of our cats and end-of-life decisions

My husband thinks I don’t fight the temptation/sin of worry.  I asked him this morning, “Why do you think I write about worry, fear and anxiety so much?”  Isn’t it obvious that I’m trying to fight them?  To get a biblical handle on how to frame them properly?

Here is how the Lord has been helping me through His living Word and via the writings of other Christians.

Several times in Scripture God affirms that He resists the proud BUT gives MORE grace to the humble (for example – James 4:6).  As I’ve been memorizing some verses in James around this particular truth, I’m coming to realize that Pride presents itself in 2 different forms:

1. Well, at least I don’t do XYZ like Joe/Jill!!!!  (and the many smug versions of this kind of ‘put-down’ comparisons)

2. What if XYZ doesn’t happen like the way I want it to? (and the many anxious versions of how I want life to turn out)

What’s God’s solution? First off, He communicates that these attitudes are demonic/ satanic/ out of the pit of hell.  They are NOT my thoughts.  They are an attack.

Just knowing that those fears I listed above originate outside of me gives me HUGE relief!  I can relax in God’s assessment and then accept and use His provision of rescue.  Here’s what the half-brother of Jesus counsels:

First – submit to God – turn toward Him and accept His truth of what is happening.

Fear, anxiety and smugness are ALL SIN!   Father and Big Brother Jesus  both command in numerous places:  Fear Not……Do Not Be Anxious……Repent & Rest…. Confidently Rely on God…Thank God in ALL Circumstances…Take Shelter in God, Not in Men

Second – resist the Devil – copy Jesus who used the living word – “It is written…”, when He was attacked by Satan.

Of course, the Bible is realistic.  These plaguing and demoralizing attacks will pop up again.  Even Jesus knew that His victory over Satan in the desert was just one of more to come.  Why should we expect anything less?

I have come to understand that FEAR/PRIDE are really one and the same.  Just as a coin has two faces, this sinful posture reflects the 2-sided family flaw we inherited from our first parents, Adam & Eve.  Both responses flow out of our human bent to think we know what is best for us. 

Here’s my version of one of those situations above:

Our Virginia house had better ‘close’ with no problems on 12 June so we can move into our Carolina house on 14 June.

That’s pride – thinking I know what is best for Mike & Maria. 

Fear flows out from that, “ What if it doesn’t go according to our plan?”  And since I have lived in the world long enough to know that I can’t control everything, worries set in.

What to do?

I’m learning to imitate mature Christians:  I speak God’s truth back to myself. Here are some examples.

·         God sees all the circumstances. (I don’t!)

·         He knows what is best. (Not me!)

·         He won’t withhold any good thing from me -Ps 84:11. (Really!)

·         I can trust Him to know and give me what is good for me.

·         All things work together for my good. (Rom 8:28)

·         God is truly in control and plans/controls/ordains/directs/allows all things that happen.

·         Who am I to think I would understand God’s ways and what is best?

I will close with a very helpful reflection that I read this weekend.  Here’s the link to the whole post (it’s definitely worth reading! )   Countering our negative assessments

The author wrote –

  • Nothing bad can happen unless there is something more than Christ that you want.

  •  So the Worst Case Scenario — is only a possible scenario if you want something more than Christ.

Each time I remind myself of that reality, I exhale and relax.  That’s right – I DO HAVE Christ!  And once you HAVE Christ (‘Christ in me, the hope of glory’ – where hope means assurance/expectation/guarantee/promise – Colossians 1:27) all else pales, because all else is just temporary.