“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27 NLT)”
This isn’t the first time I’ve focused on the war against worry. Meditating on the worst possible outcome (my definition of worry) is robbing people of joy, great relationships and the peace of Jesus. A few days ago, my revelation about worry went to the next level and it really affected my life’s perspective. I will attempt to communicate how this happened, and hopefully it will switch on a light for you as well.
I was on the phone with a woman who was praying for a miracle in her family. She admitted to me that she was experiencing new levels of anxiety that were turning into panic attacks. We prayed together, and the Lord opened her eyes to see God’s provision for her, even if her family didn’t change…or behave…or get fixed. You see, often we are begging God to just deal with the people we live with, remaining unaware of our own opportunity to experience God for ourselves! The peace of Jesus touched her and covered her like a blanket, and she was able to surrender her cares and worries to Him. What a beautiful God moment!
Awhile later in the day, I was in the kitchen doing the dishes, and this was my thought process: “Wow, I really don’t think I worry about my family…nope…can’t remember the last time I actually worried about their faith, disasters, their decisions…hmmm….maybe it’s because they are all doing so great? Wait a minute, if I really thought about it, there are a lot of reasons I could be worried, I mean, just the sheer fact that my oldest son lives in NYC and is constantly riding his bicycle among traffic, and Robert is definitely at the age of full-on teenager-fun-stuff and blah-blah-blah (other personal stuff) but I rarely actually worry about these things! I trust the Lord with my kids, I don’t freak out when they make iffy-decisions and I really go with the flow!”
Wow, I’m amazing, right? Not so fast. So what do I think about in a more “negative” way? True Confessions: Future ministry, the way the world is changing, so we have to keep changing with it. How we will fund marriage ministry, especially for those who can’t afford it (but need it) things that I’m probably not the best at when it comes to marketing…again, blah-blah-blah, the list continued. Then the Lord spoke tenderly to my heart: Have you noticed that the things you’re most concerned about are the least successful right now? (In other words, taking it the next step) Do you see how “worrying” actually has the potential to sabotage the outcomes? Can you observe how radically trusting me with your children has always turned out amazing? Can you do a little more radical-trusting when it comes to ministry, future and finances?
Yes, yes and yes! If the result of worrying goes beyond anxiety and actually sabotages the thing we are worried about, I am going to be extremely intentional about stopping the nonsense. Since that day, I just released the outcome to the Lord. Bob and I can make plans, work, set goals and make decisions, and then trust God. The gifts God gave me were “a clear path ahead” and “a bright future”. I caught the visual! It’s like seeing the trail of a bright flashlight on a dark path in the woods - on it’s way to a glorious destination. I opened those presents and said, “Thank you Father!” I will not micro-manage the details or presume what this will look like. But boy, will I trust. I can do that!
Today is my day to trust God like never before. I am going to notice thoughts of worry and resist their pull for attention. (What have you been worried about?) With wisdom I will not sabotage my future, my family or my health. I mean, aren’t I valuable to God? Just like He takes care of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, how much more will He care for me and supply everything I need.
Here’s to your clear path and bright future!
P.S. We are flying off to Buffalo, New York today for a marriage event…thanks for your continual prayers – we are destined for a weekend of breakthrough for marriages and families! And, as you know, we are praying for you!