I’m very competitive. If I’m in a class, I like to make an A. Wait—I don’t only want an A, but I want my PERCENTAGE to be higher than anyone else’s in the class—or maybe higher than any student that professor has ever taught. You get the idea. So, it’s only natural that I strive to be the best worrier I know. That’s tongue-in-cheek, of course. But you might think it to be true if you could peek at my worry-list.
Right now I have a specific little worry. It may be solved/gone by this afternoon. It may not. But I’m focused on it this morning. It’s getting a lot of my attention so far today (and last night, and a few days before that).
But I do not DESIRE to be really good at worrying. I desire to conquer the grip that worry often has on my life. So, once again, I have opened my notebook to the passages I have read many times (and have shared with many others) with a fresh commitment to “practice what I preach” about turning over my fear and worries to God. This file is called “My Fear Passages.” It includes these passages:
When I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psalm 56:3
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
You will keep in perfect peace Him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. – Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."- Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
…God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5b-6 (NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. - Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV 2011)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV 2011)
Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me. - Psalm 55:5, 16, (NIV 2011)
So, these verses have been on my heart and in my prayers. This morning, in a conversation with my sister, totally unrelated to this issue, she made a statement regarding her career direction right now. But her statement stayed in my mind after our phone conversation, as I applied it to my own state of worry. She said, “This [a direction related to her career] was not part of my master plan.” Then she quickly followed with, “…but I’M NOT THE MASTER.”
That’s what I need to remember. I pulled out this verse from my “Fear Passages” list for focus today:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” - Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
…Because I don’t really want to be the “master of worries.” I want to remember that I know and can trust the MASTER of all things in my life.
UPDATE: While typing the previous paragraph of this blog piece, I received a phone call that ends the worry about this particular issue. Thank You, Lord. Now, may I remember today’s “lesson” for the many more opportunities I will no doubt have to put it into practice.