Monday, August 1, 2011

Does Worrying Weigh You Down?

My mother worried a lot. She even called herself a "worry wart". I've often wondered about that nick name and why anyone would want to wear that title. I looked it up today on the Word Dectective, and here is what is stated about this much used moniker.

“Worry” itself is an interesting word, one that has traveled far from its origins. When “worry” first appeared in Old English (as “wrygan”), it meant, not “to fret,” but “to strangle” (putting a whole new light on “put your worries behind you”). That grisly meaning of “worry” softened a bit over the subsequent centuries, first to “bite and shake” (as dogs “worry” their rubber toys today), then “to harass or vex,” until finally arriving at its modern meaning of “to make (or to be) persistently anxious” around 1822.

“Wart,” on the other hand, has meant “a small excrescence on the skin” since it appeared in Old English from a Germanic root. Several centuries of development gave “wart” a variety of figurative meanings, including that of “a defect or unattractive feature” (as in the phrase “warts and all”) and, perhaps inevitably, “an annoying, obnoxious or insignificant person” in the 19th century.

Thus the stage is set for decoding “worry wart” as “a person who annoys others by worrying loudly and constantly over nearly everything.”

Worrying is really quite fruitless and so I guess it can be annoying to others because they realize that there are times when no matter how much you try, you just can't change the way things are and no amount of worrying will change that.

If a worry wart is indeed a person who annoys others by worrying loudly and constantly over nearly everything, and if one's parent is a worry wart, then it stands to reason that their children might learn to be worry warts by watching their parent in action, right?

On the other hand, if we as parents show our children that when you are perplexed and challenged by the the things of life you take your problems to God in prayer, perhaps, that, too, can become a learned response.

The Bible tells us that we are not to worry about anything; not what we are going to wear, or eat or what is going to happen today, (Matthew 6:25-34) or tomorrow or what might not happen. We are not to worry about logs or specks (Matthew 7:3 and Luke 6:41) in our friends' eyes, we are not to worry about what we are to say Luke 12:11).

I have found myself worrying many times in the last few weeks; worrying about whether my son was going to get his health back, whether he was eating enough, if he was eating too little, whether he was taking his medication correctly and on and on and on. The Holy Spirit is teaching me that this is wrong and is, in fact, a sin. I am showing a lack of confidence in God. I am not trusting Him, and I am trying to be in control of a situation that is completely out of my control.

God knows what He's doing. He has a purpose and a plan for our lives. He doesn't want to hurt us. He wants to give us a future and a hope Jeremiah 29:11.

When we accept the gift of God's forgiveness, redemption and become joints heirs with Jesus, we are entering into God's rest. He is our strong tower, the lifter of our head, and we need to learn to let Him "be" in us. We need to rest in the assurance that He is in control and that He is working "all things" for good because we love Him and have been called according to His purpose. It is hard to make these big life changes but that is what those who follow Him are called to Him implicitly just because He is God and He is good (and only God is good).

Even if the end result of our turmoil turns out to be not what we wanted or wished for or hoped for, if we just focus on Him and how He loves us and how He sees the big picture and knows how it all turns out in the end; then it becomes a little easier to rely on His wisdom, goodness and love.

When the circumstances of life bring on worry, that is the time to boost your courage with these two thoughts:

First, God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-control 2Tim 1:7; and

Second, Isaiah 55:11 says: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth; it shall not return to me void--without producing any effect, useless--but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it (AMP Bible).

We do not have to worry and fret because we have his spirit living within us, a spirit of power and love and one which enables us to say, "no, enough; I will not be afraid and worry".

When God allows things to touch us in this life, it is for a purpose, and when He says "so be it", then it will happen to accomplish that thing which He has planned.

It sounds difficult, doesn't it? Rest in him, trust him, lean not on our own understanding and yet we are to be on our guard, wearing our armor and standing firm in the presence of difficulties, trials and even evil.

I believe that means that even though we have responsibilities with regard to our faith, ultimately, we have to realize that God holds us in the palm of His hand and as we learn to let go of our worries and allow Him to do His work in our lives, we will grow in our knowledge of Him and His righteousness.

Lord Jesus, as I walk the path of life that you have directed me to, I pray that you will make me aware of the places where I am most susceptible to failure. Show me where I am to be alert to obey and where I am to rest and watch you. Give me the mind of Christ today. Help me focus on today for tomorrow has worries I don't even know about today. I ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I used to be the biggest worry wart..and I'm sure I was annoying.

    The Lord took that from me! But, I have to remind myself Who is in control:)