The Good Thing About Worry


Can worry be a trigger for something better?

A lady walked into the doctor’s office. “Doc,” she said, “I’m worried. I have a pain in my eye whenever I drink tea.” The doctor said, “Then take the spoon out of the cup before you drink.”

As a kid, I worried a lot. Few things swipe your joy faster than worry. I worried about the bully on the playground, the broccoli on my plate, and the pit bull on my chest. Fast forward through the years and it’s become a pattern. Can you relate? But I have seen that even worry can be turned into something good with God’s help. Hear me out.

Like a runny nose, worry points to something deeper, something there’s a solution for. At the root of worry is a sense of panic that the God who created the universe is too small, too distant, or too unconcerned to fulfill his promises. That he was kidding when he said he’d never leave us.

Just like the smoke alarm going off is a sure sign that Dad’s in the kitchen, worry can be a sure sign to turn off the burners, take every thought captive, and fill our minds with something nobler.

Is God worried? Well, not in a nail-biting, sweaty-palm kind of way. But he cares for us; he’s concerned about every detail of our lives. About today, about our future. He cares for us. And if he’s concerned about the details of my life, what in the world am I worrying about?

I’ve found this exercise helpful. I try to remember what I worried about six months ago today. I can’t remember. Furthermore, what I worried about rarely, if ever, came to be. So spending my life under the shadow of an event that hasn’t yet happened and likely never will is absurd—even laughable.

Worry can be a trigger to remind us of God’s constant care. “Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus tells us in Matthew 6, “they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” God loves us more than we’ll ever know. May we focus on his character, his goodness, his mercy, and cease worrying about tomorrow or about pit bulls like I did as a child.

Reminds me of the lady who told her doctor. “A pit bull bit my finger.” “Which one?” the doctor asked. “I don’t know,” she replied, “pit bulls all look the same to me.”

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