The Good Thing About Worry

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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. I worried about the bully on the playground, the broccoli on my plate, and the pit bull attached to my pant leg. When I grew older I worried about acne. I worried about being skinny. I worried about girls. I started dating and worried about getting dumped. I got married and worried that my wife would leave me for the weekend, and I would starve of malnutrition. I worried about not having kids. When we had three in three years I worried about having too many kids. I even worried about being worried so much. Can you relate?

 

If so, take a deep breath and think of this. Even worry can be turned into a good thing with God’s help. What? How? Well, I’m slowly learning that worry is a bit like a runny nose. It’s a good indication that something worse is wrong. Worry always points to something deeper, something that there’s a solution for. If the smoke alarm goes off at our house, everyone knows that Dad’s in the kitchen. Worry is like a smoke alarm. It’s a raucous reminder to turn off the burners, take every thought captive, and fill our mind with thoughts of the one we trust. Because at the root of all worry is a sense of panic that the God who created the universe is too small or too unconcerned to fulfill his promises. That he was kidding when he said he’d never leave us or forsake us. It’s belief in a God who is too small.

 

So try a little exercise. Try to remember what you worried about six months ago today. I tried. I can’t remember. Some hard things have happened in those six months, but God was faithful. So I must not spend my life under the shadow of an event that hasn’t yet happened and likely never will. Worry is the bad thing that can wake us up to the good thing of God’s constant care for us. “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. Let’s place our fickle and faltering trust him today. As for me, I plan to stop worrying about pit bulls like I did as a child.

 

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

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