Years ago, when my husband and I were first married, I used to be a big worrier. My mind would jump to the worst-case scenario pretty quickly when something started to go wrong.
As a clear example, when we were newlyweds in 2006, living in our first apartment, we had parked our 1977 AMC Matador, that had once belonged to my grandmother, in our complex’s parking lot. Because of a slip in memory on my part, I had failed to renew the registration and unbeknownst to me, it had been towed while we were out somewhere. When we came home and saw that the car was gone, I start bawling, crying, “Oh my gosh, someone STOLE my grandma’s car!” Chris started to remind me that not only was he the only one who knew the tricky maneuvers necessary to start the thing in the first place, but it was also this hideous poo brown color that really, no one except us would want. Before he could finish though, I had already called the police, still sniffling, to tell them I wanted to file a police report because someone must have undoubtedly stolen our car. They asked me if I had called any local impound lots before calling them. Well no, no I hadn't. I guess I should try that. I look up and Chris was already googling numbers to local lots. Turns out, yes, it was towed to a place across town because I was a dingbat and let the tabs expire. But I instantly thought that it was stolen and we’d never ever ever get it back. I didn't even think about all the possible scenarios, I just jumped straight to the worst one I could think of.
Over the years, my worrying nature has improved (as has my ability to dutifully pay all registration fees on time) as my faith has deepened, but it still rears its ugly head more often than I'd like. When the future is uncertain, I might worry that plans will not work out the way I'm hoping. When I get behind with laundry or housework, I worry that I'll never get caught up (although that one is the truth...it never ends). When my husband prepares for a deployment halfway across the world I hear news reports of routine training missions going haywire and service members losing their lives, you better believe I worry for his safety. Yes, worry creeps in. So I need this reminder myself as much as you do.
The Bible is full of infallible truths that are meant to give us hope for the future and that guard our hearts against worry. Today I've picked 5 of my favorite verses to share with you, ones that I turn to when the worrier in me starts to show up.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
This is one of my favorite verses of all time. God is for us, not against us. He wants good things for our lives and our futures. That doesn't mean it will come easy, and it doesn't mean our lives will be without trials, but we do have the assurance that He has great plans for us and wants to give us hope.
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Seriously, each day gives us enough to think about. It doesn't do much good for our hearts, minds, or bodies to spend time today stressing out about tomorrow or the days that come after. Despite any trials I've faced, God really has made good on His word and has given me all I truly need.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
The Creator of the entire universe will help us fight our battles. Personally, I could not think of a better warfighter to have on my side.
Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.
-1 Peter 5:7
People say God never gives you more than you can handle. Not true. God has given me more than I can handle plenty of times. To the young widow, to the parent who has lost their child, to the person with cancer, to the broken-hearted...you've all been given more than you can handle at times. But the good news is, we are never given more than GOD can handle. He will take our burdens and help us carry them. He is so much stronger that you or I, and the beatific truth is that he willingly transfers that strength to those who trust in Him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
A relationship will not thrive if there is no communication. Think about what would happen if you and your spouse or your children went a week without speaking to one another. Would the relationship grow? Would you feel close? Would there be much support for each other? In order to create closeness to God and to let Him know what's on our hearts and what worries are troubling us, we must communicate that in prayer.
Imagine you're carrying around several 50 pound suitcases. And a carry on. And a purse. And a laptop bag. And you're trying to walk around and live your live while holding on to all of it. Could you do it? Maybe, but it would hurt. It would be uncomfortable. It would impede your ability to give the love and do the work you're capable of. So set the bags down. Give them to God. He will carry them for you.
Going through these verses has really calmed my heart and helped me to refocus my mind on the truths of God's love for me. I hope this can give you some comfort as well. If there is a worry on your heart, give it to God. And if you'd like someone else rooting for you as well, let me know, I'd love to pray for you! Leave a comment or email me at christinaherr1 (at) gmail.com.