While sitting in the lobby of our church, a friend asked, “How old is he?” “Four months,” I proudly answered with a smile. She reminisced, “I love that age; that is when they start looking at you and smiling. It is such a precious milestone.” I smiled on the outside, but on the inside her words suddenly brought an avalanche of fear and worry. Since his birth we had noticed my son was delayed in his developmental milestones, but we had attributed everything to his prematurity. However, during that conversation with my friend, I finally allowed myself to realize something might be seriously wrong with my son. Not only could he barely move, but I also realized that he could not see. In that moment my world began to crumble. All I could think about was the impact this would have on my son’s ability to live a normal life and how it would affect my other children and our family.
Worry began to dominate my mind that afternoon. From that point on, I worried about my son and his health more than I allowed myself to enjoy him. Over time God healed his eyes and he was able to see! Yet there were many other physical issues that presented much opportunity to worry.
Worry robs from us the opportunity to be thankful for the blessings of today.
Sadly I can remember several events in my son’s life that should have been filled with joy, but I foolishly squandered these precious moments by allowing them to be ruled by worry. I remember sitting at my son’s baby dedication and staring at the “abnormal” skin folds on his arms worried that he might possibly have a chromosomal abnormality. During his first birthday party I was deeply disappointed because he wasn’t able to do many of the things his siblings could at that age. I also remember the Disney trip where I couldn’t really enjoy myself because my son’s walker constantly reminded me that he was unable to walk independently. Worry consumed me so much those first years of his life that I don’t have a lot of good memories of them. In fact it wasn’t until 6 months ago that I realized I had not worried about Will in quite some time. By God’s grace he was now walking, talking, acting silly, climbing stairs, and going down a slide. Though he was still behind in some areas, I now knew he would catch up.
Unfortunately I cannot get back all the days, weeks, months, and years I spent worrying. I can’t go back in time to the days of the sweet little baby who loved to be held and sung to. I can’t go back to his baby dedication and just be thankful he was alive instead of worrying about what might be wrong. I can’t go back to the Disney trip and proudly walk worry free with a little boy who was enjoying the characters and rides.
Not only do we lose time that we can never get back, but worry also steals from us in many more ways. We can lose productivity, perspective, peace, joy, sleep, and health – just to name a few. The truth of the matter is most of us spend a great deal of time and energy worrying over things that we know nothing can be done about. In Matthew 6:27 Jesus states it this way, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life.”
Another way worry steals is that it robs from those around us. How?
As we become fixated on our own fears we can become incapable of thinking about
anything or anyone outside of the object of our worry.
What if God wanted to use me all the years we went to weekly therapy appointments to encourage someone else, however, because I was too consumed with worrying about my own son’s health, I failed to accomplish the task the Lord had for me.
The Bible gives us instruction about worry in Matthew 6:25-34. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” If God says He will take care of our basic necessities, why would I worry about anything else? If He cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, aren’t I more valuable than they are? The Bible doesn’t tell us we won’t have problems. In fact verse 34 says just the opposite, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day as is its own trouble.” Tomorrow may very well have trouble, but don’t worry about it because God is greater than the trouble.
Nothing positive can come from worry, because when we worry we are saying to God, “You are not big enough to handle my problem. I don’t know if I can trust You with this.” Instead of casting our cares on Him, we take the whole load upon ourselves, and we were never designed to carry those burdens.
However, when I choose to give my problems, my anxiety, and my worry to God, I experience the freedom to walk through life’s problems in the way I was designed to do. I allow God to be Lord of my life, and this lets me focus on one day – today. Since every moment I have is a precious gift from my Creator, why would I ever allow these moments to be stolen by worry?