I’ve read somewhere that the Bible says “do not fear” 365 times. “One for each day of the year.” I haven’t actually taken the time to count, so I’m not sure how accurate it is. But I do know that there’s a valuable message underneath that cheesy embroidery hanging on Grandma’s wall.
This world runs on fear; and if we’re not careful, it’s easy to slip into the mindset that “if I’m not actively worried about something, then I’m not being productive enough to solve my own problems.” Present examples: I know I’m supposed to go to Uganda for two months after graduation, but I don’t know exactly how it’s going to be funded. I know I love my community here in Nashville, but I don’t have a job lined up or a place to live when I get back in the fall. I know my dad’s been sick since I was 13, but I don’t know exactly how or when he’ll be healed completely. As a matter of fact, I can technically count the things I’m “certain” about on one hand. The uncertainty can’t be measured. This world continually gives me evidence of a giant mess to sort through, and it’ll only get bigger if I don’t start fixing things now. Time’s a tickin’.
Praise God that we’re called to be in the world, not of the world.
How arrogant of me to assume that I’m supposed to fix everything myself. How belittling of me to take away the sovereignty of the God of this universe. You know what worry is? It’s an intricately disguised, pride-based desire to be in control. I’m not designed to be in control; Lord knows everything would fall apart if that were the case. I was 15 seconds from burning my grilled cheese earlier this afternoon…. don’t make me figure out a new budget incorporating a hypothetical monthly rent and a hypothetical income. I like to think I can do it just fine; but don’t actually make me give you every concrete answer about my life. I’ll freak out.
Bottom line: yeah, I could very easily run around in circles freaking out about the unknown. It’s human nature, after all. But why grow gray hairs when I could remember that I wouldn’t even be where I am if it wasn’t providential for me to be here? The second I surrendered the details to a God who knows what He’s doing, He brought people to my life to help me. He gave me more than enough resources. He gave me a solid work ethic (praise). Why would He bring me here if not to carry out His plan for me and my life? Let’s be honest; He’s probably laughing at me every time I choose to forget that He’s actually holding my hand to guide me through life. He’s held me in the palm of his hands for 22 years now, I don’t know why He’d drop me all of a sudden. I wish I never lost sight of that picture, but sometimes I do. Sometimes I try to take back what I already surrendered. And He graciously gives patient reminders whenever that happens.
“Daughter, I’m going before you. I’ll be right here the whole time; I won’t fail you or forsake you. So quit freaking out.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)