Hurricanes. Economic disaster. War. Job loss. Tornadoes. Cancer. Pedophiles. Tornadoes. Crime. Car accidents. Not getting into the right school.
All are very real and potentially devastating occurrences and the anxiety associated with each can suffocate and consume all sense of safety and well-being.
Worry torments and often paralyzes if not taken under control. I cannot vouch for the statistical accuracy, but I once read the following regarding the things about which we worry:
40% never happen
30% regard unchangeable deeds of the past
12% focus on the opinions of others that cannot be controlled
10% center on personal health, which only worsens as we worry about it
8% concern real problems that we can influence
Even if the stats are completely fabricated, 4 out of the 5 categories listed can be summarized as "exercises in futility." But knowing that doesn't necessarily fix those who are consumed with worry. It's trite. I hate trite.
And of course, we know what 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
So many times I dump my current list of worries and concerns and consider that "casting my anxieties" on him.
But then no sooner than I say "amen," I'm off again - calling the doctor for the 18th time that day for the results on the biopsy from that weird-looking mole...mummifying my children in bubble wrap...buying another case of bottled water for the fallout shelter...adding more gas to the generator... (I kid. We just got a book from the library called Scaredy Squirrel that lists all kinds of worst case scenarios - like germs, pirates, and martians - so I've got outlandish things on my mind.)
Why? Because I think that the more I do to prevent the worst case scenario from happening, the less likely it is to happen. Right?
Me. Me. Me. I can prevent this from happening. It's all about my control over the situation.
But go back one verse in 1 Peter 5. Right before we're instructed to cast our anxiety on Him, verse 6 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
I need to humble myself (stop thinking that I'm so capable of controlling the pieces and scenarios) and realize it's all about Him - not me. And if my worst case scenario does play out, He's there to carry me through it.
Do I consider myself a worrier? Probably not. But I know that many people are.
There have been seasons where I've obsessed about the outcome of particular situations. In fact, several of my worst case scenarios have come to fruition during the course of my 34 years. And God carried me through and "lifted me up in due time."
I pray today that you'd throw all of your worries on Jesus and rest secure in the fact that that they are no longer yours to control. Be blessed and be free.