Has anyone ever said to you — Oh, you’re a worrywart? I know I have been called one. And if we are honest with ourselves, we would all say that we have, at some time in our life, been a worrywart.
My mother was an incessant worrier. Since I was an only child and she had seven miscarriages trying to have me, she knew she would never be able to have another. So, she worried about me constantly. As a teen and, even as an adult, I was under her law. If she knew I was coming to see her and I was going to be one minute late, I had to call her and tell her. If I didn’t, at one minute past my arrival time, she would call the police to go look for me lying on the side of the road. Yes, my mother was a worrywart.
Do you know where that expression comes from? It goes back a number of centuries to when people had fits when they developed warts. They worried about them, constantly, day and night. So, to be a worrywart means that we worry about things constantly. We worry about things needlessly. All of us worry about something. We all share that human trait. But the problem lies in that most of us put ourselves under stress by letting it get the best of us.
Rev. Brian Menear of Path of Light Ministries gives these amazing statistics:
• 40 percent of all things that we worry about never come to pass.
• 30 percent of all our worries involve past decisions that cannot be changed.
• 12 percent focus on criticism from others who spoke because they felt inferior.
• 10 percent are related to our health, which gets worse when we worry, and
• Only 8 percent of our worries could be described as “legitimate” causes for concern.
Here are some good quotes about worrying:
• E. Joseph Cossman said: “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
• Glenn Turner said: “Worrying is like a rocking chair — it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”
• William Powell said: “I highly recommend worrying. It is much more effective than dieting.”
Here are three from unknown authors:
• “For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.”
• “Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.”
• “Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there.”
• And one of my favorites is from Charlie Brown in Peanuts: “I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.”
As you can see, everyone has an opinion about worrying. Even God has an opinion about worrying. In Philippians 4:6 the Bible says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.” As you can see from this Scripture in Philippians, God doesn’t want us to worry about anything. God wants us to trust and believe that the One who created us will provide for all our needs. And all we need to do is ask.
Does that sound familiar? It should. The Bible says it also in Matthew 7:7-8 which reads: “Ask and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” I John 5:14-15 also says, “And this is the boldness we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to Jesus will, He will hear us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of Him.”
Those Scriptures, along with the Scripture in Philippians 4, tells me clearly that God wants us to ask for whatever we need, and the Creator is faithful to answer it. With that being true, what is the value of worrying?
There is a wonderful Scripture in Matthew 6 where the Bible says starting in verse 25, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Creator feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will God not much more clothe you — you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things and indeed your heavenly Creator knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and your Creator’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Our Creator who gave us life will take care of us. During these difficult times with COVID-19, unemployment and civil unrest, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, worry and question the future. We must believe that and trust the Word of God to be true and live positively.
The true joy in life comes from giving our lives to God and not worrying. It comes from being free. Being free means “Hakuna Matata.” Remember that phrase from Disney’s “The Lion King?” It’s Swahili for “No Worries.” It means being free to be all that we were created to be. As children of God, the only restrictions we have are the ones we have put on ourselves. We cause ourselves to worry. And the basis of that is our lack of trust in our Creator.
So today, I ask you — Do you needlessly worry about issues in your life? Have you asked your Creator to supply all your needs, including those areas that cause you to worry? Do you truly trust your Creator to do that? Remember, there is no value in worrying.
Let go of your worries. Let go of those areas of your life that are robbing you of the true joy of life. God is big enough to handle them. Give them to God today and be free of your burdens. That is God’s promise.
Rev. Dawn Flynn is the pastor for New Life Metropolitan Community Church located in Gastonia, N.C.
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