I’m worrying good right now.
That means I’m believing bad.
When we stepped outside to feed our 1½-year-old Golden Retriever Tuesday morning, she lay perfectly still in her dog house and refused to come. A panicky trip to the vet proved that Kandie was a very sick dog.
Cracks of worry
I worried whether she would live or die.
But when the vet called with a surgery option, I worried whether I’d be a wise steward to spend so much money on a dog.
What does this have to do with “believing better”?
Well, maybe everything.
One of my spiritual resolutions for 2011 has been to release my worry into more dependence on God.
So when I find myself anxious about situations and choices, I remind myself there’s a crack in my belief.
Because I believe that what I believe about God affects the way I see everything else.
Do I trust Him or not? Can I honestly answer, “Yes!” if I’m actually living, “Sort of”?
When I read Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34, I detect the fissures that can break open my mountain of worry.
1. He knows
Does God really keep track of everything going on in my life? Is He even aware that my dog has some mysterious illness? Yes, He’s very aware, even of the next strand of my hair turning from brown to gray (Matthew 10:30). He knows every small and large thing I need (Matthew 6:32).
That means He also knows not only that my dog is sick, but what it is that is making her sick.
2. He cares
So if He does know (and I can easily believe He does know), then does He care? If He cared enough to feed every cardinal and mallard and crow outside my window this morning (Matthew 6:26), won’t He care even more about me, one made in His own image? Of course He will. And if He cares about me, He’ll care that I’m hurting over one of His creatures that is sick (Matthew 10:29).
So if I come to believe that He does care (I do believe), the next belief I have to challenge is in His willingness:
If He cares so much, why doesn’t He do something about it?
(This is the hardest one for me.)
3. He works
He IS doing something about it. Whether I realize it or not, God is always at work for my good and for His glory (Romans 8:28). He keeps me fed, sheltered, and clothed (Matthew 6:30). I can see the evidence of that if I’ll look. I must remember to look.
But my dog?
My worries are that (a) she’ll die and I’ll be sad. But hasn’t God proven faithful to sit with me through much larger sadnesses already? Yes. And hasn’t He promised grace to cover those yet in my future? Yes. So even if Kandie does die, God has already strategically planted ahead gifts of grace to see me through it.
But I also worry that (b) I’ll overspend unwisely on a pet. But isn’t God at work here too? If I pray for wisdom (I am)—and if I believe He’ll give it (I do)—I can trust He’ll actively guide me with each decision that I have to make (James 1:5-6), one at a time.
So as I believe better—that God knows, God cares, and God works—even about a family pet, I turn away from my sin of anxiety, and become satisfied with how God will handle it all.
It’s not up to me to control the situation; it’s only up to me to believe in the One who can.
Whew. Doesn’t that take a load off?
I believe it does.
Do you have a problem with worrying, too?
What scriptures help you believe better and worry less?