He leads me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:2b
I am currently working with a 90-year-old patient who’s worried about everything. All the time. So anxious she can’t eat. So worried she can’t sleep. “What’s wrong? You’re making wonderful progress.” I inquire empathetically. And she shakes her head and replies, “I’ll never be what I was. I need to set a better example for my kids.”
As adults, we seem to worry about so many things. I imagine worry as the burlap bag of burdens, overflowing with “whaddifs” and “howells.” “Whaddif it rains when I have plans?” “Howell I know if I’m doing the right thing?”
The burlap bag of worry. It’s cumbersome. Unattractive. Scratchy and impossible to give away. No one wants your worries, not even you. The Biblical word for worry is merimnao which is Greek for divide the mind. Anxiety splits our energy between today’s priorities and tomorrows problems. The result is being half-minded.
But that’s not the only result. Chronic worrying can also lead to the physical manifestations of high blood pressure, heart troubles, migraines and stomach problems. Anxiety is a costly habit. And futile.
If worry has never solved a problem, how do we deal with it? Look to God’s promise in Psalm 23:2. “He leads me beside still waters.” And in case we missed it, verse 3 states, “He leads me in the path of righteousness.” He leads me. He isn’t behind us yelling “Go!” He is in front of us, clearing the path and showing the way.
He leads us. He tells us what we need to know, when we need to know it. We will be given help when we need it like the child trying to lift bags off the airport turn style. Or the Israelites that were given manna during their time of need. One day at a time. Trusting in Him to provide frees us to enjoy the present.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. The key is to meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start worrying and tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You only have strength for today.
I know it’s easier said than done in today’s culture. But, allow me encourage you to set down the burlap sack. Stop letting worry rob you of rest. You can’t prevent anything by staying awake all night, or postpone anything by thinking about it over and over again. Trust that God is in control. Leave tomorrow’s worries until tomorrow.
There are five important words that stand out in the hymn Lead Kindly Light, “Lead kindly light … Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene. One step enough for me.” (http://youtu.be/piUDbCtgymw)
God isn’t going to let us see the distant scene, so we may as well stop looking for it. He promises a lamp upon our feet, not a crystal ball to see the future. We don’t need to know what will happen tomorrow. We need to trust Him to be our caring shepherd to lead us to green pastures and beside still waters.
Thank you God!