Propensity to Worry


I have been there before and visit far more often than I want. That place where my natural self has the gifted propensity to get tangled in knots. To go to the worst case scenario. To land in the mud puddle of worry, only to crawl out dripping with anxiety. To end up with a topsy-turvy bag full of unsettled emotions like Sebastian the crab, in Disney’s Little Mermaid when he announced with much drama, “My nerves are shot.”

My latest and greatest—even though sadly it seems to be quite commonplace, although for me was a first-time experience—landed me in the world of cyber-theft. Unaware of what was happening at the time, whether it was online or at a business I visited, somehow, my credit information was lifted allowing some dear person in a different state to live the easy life, enjoying gift cards, pizza, and a tank of gas at no cost to themselves. But on this end when all came to light, uneasiness began to creep into my mind, the what-ifs muddling my thoughts.

Taking all the usual precautions to address what had occurred—and I hate to admit and only did it once, wrapping cards in aluminum foil until my new state-of-the-art-kryptonite-like-wallet-that-would-stop-even-superman arrived—I couldn’t ward off the niggling worry of something worse looming at the horizon.

We never mean to let the conundrums of life get to us, to let our reactions be over the top, but we do. Like a pinball ricocheting off bumpers and walls, we first go this way and that, trying to figure out where and what would land us in the best case scenario. Often we end up just landing in a sea of helplessness, but still hoping, with resignation, that somehow, it will all work out.

More often than not, some of us do a 180, bouncing to the other extreme. Strategizing, setting in place layer upon layer of defense, insulating and protecting ourselves to the max, we can become so safeguarded that we create distance appearing to those around us, almost untouchable.

Really, neither is very good and being the human being I am—my husband and children will gladly tell you—I have done both. Rats.

When I woke up the other morning, a song about God’s protection was in my head. Simple and sweet, it was comforting. Nice. But yesterday, I read Zephaniah 3:17, and I was in awe.

“Adonai your God is in your midst—a mighty Savior! He will delight over you with joy. He will quiet you with His love. He will dance for joy over you with singing.’ (TLV)

Like a watchful Father, God tells us over and over in His Word that He will care for us if we will only let Him. He wants to clear out the anxious thoughts that take up residence in our heads and hearts (Psalm 139: 23,24). And as a father delights in his children, so He does also with us (Psalm 37:4). Other verses, but not all, where He talks of His care for us can be found in Matthew 11:28, Psalm 84:11, Psalm 127:1, Luke 12:7.

So why was I stunned, surprised by joy—and I am every time it happens—that it was He who put that song in my head?

What I faced is nothing compared to what others are going through. Heart ache, sickness, financial difficulties. The world itself seems to be upside down, chasing rumors, pointing fingers, wildly swinging like a pendulum from left to right. But nothing escapes God’s view. He is just, but patient, wanting all to come to Him. Wanting all to let His love, mercy, and grace flow in and through their lives.

Jesus came to save. Not to condemn. And especially knowing who we are and how we are, wants us to bring everything to Him in prayer. (See Philippians 4:6.)

He so graciously wants to rescue, help, and love us. All we need to do is to call out to Him.

Psalm 37:1-9 (ESV) says,

“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.”

By His Grace,