I wish I didn’t worry so much. Well-established, woman of the Word and faith that I am, I worry. Sometimes anxieties just pop in—unbidden, waking me at midnight. I have seen a pattern: It’s usually before I leave on a trip. And it usually concerns the safety/well-being/happiness of my children, grandchildren and close friends and family. I don’t worry about myself, because I feel securely fastened in God’s hands, and whatever happens to me, happens. I’m good.
But. That suffocating, unexpected panic over What Could Happen to those I hold dear—totally illogical, totally unbidden worry—plagues me at times. Yes, I know! Trust God. Let Go. God loves them more than I do. He is in control. But there aren’t easy formulas, magic words to say. Because I’ve seen it, and I know: Bad Things Happen. Sometimes for no reason. The flu epidemic. Families who lose their loved ones before their time. Young people who get de-railed. So what do I do with this worry? What do you do?
The only thing that alleviates worry for me…the only thing that grounds me and gives me perspective is to get out of bed, put on my warm fuzzy robe and go to my writing room. I grab my Bible as a starving woman and I search. “Who are you, God? Are you in control? And can I commit all those and everything that I hold dear to You? Truly?”
I re-read the old, familiar words, new again in The Message: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Phil. 4:6-7) When I consider the apostle Paul and his triumphant life of faith no matter the circumstances, my worries seem pretty petty.
It is wonderful when we fully choose to trust Christ, and worries fade.
In the dark days of the Reformation in Europe, Luther wrote to a friend: “I am against those worrying cares which are taking the heart out of you. Why make God a liar in not believing his wonderful promises, when he commands us to be of good cheer, and cast all our care upon him, for he will sustain us? Do you think he throws such words to the winds? What more can the devil do than slay us? Christ has died for sin once for all, but for righteousness he will not die but live and reign. Why then worry, seeing he is at the helm? He who has been our Father will also be the Father of our children.”
The fact is that either we trust God or we don’t. It is a choice. Worry is a natural, human response to life, but it can be crippling and it is not of God. Worry says “I am responsible. I must fix this. I must provide this.” God reminds us that He will “keep that which we commit to Him.” (2 Timothy 1:12). Keep! He is our keeper, and will keep all that we dare to commit to Him. So I take a deep breath…I let go, and trust Him. Again! And His peace comes. Petitions and praises then shape worries into prayers of release and trust.
Ps. 84:11 & 12 reminds us: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!”
Nancie Carmichael writes from her home in Sisters, Oregon. She has written many books, magazine articles and columns.
Her new book, The Unexpected Power of Home will be released in the Fall of 2018. She and her husband, Bill are parents of five married children and grandparents of 14—which gives her lots of reasons to worry and laugh!
Nancie can be reached at email@example.com.
 quoted in Treasury of the Christian Faith, Alfred E. Cook