By Kelly Carr, Editor
Looking over my lifetime, I’d pinpoint one issue that has most often reared its ugly head—worry.
Like any addiction, it started small. I’d worry about what to wear or what to fix myself for lunch. But then I added more. I’d worry about my future—where I’d live or who I’d marry or what job I’d find. And then I sunk myself in deep. I’d worry about my loved ones getting ill or dying.
Yes, just as we can become dependent upon substances or habits, so worry can become a crutch we can’t function without.
Sometimes I wonder why worry is bad. When I worry about my daughter because I don’t want her to get hurt, that’s a natural outpouring of motherly love, right? Perhaps the problem is when we stew on our worries so much that we lose trust in God’s care and provision.
At times I’ve gotten so worried about the negative “what ifs” that may never happen in an unknown future that I haven’t enjoyed the joys of the here and now. I wasn’t reveling in the blessings God had already given me. I was concerned that those blessings could run out over the horizon.
At other times I’ve stayed awake at night, feeling almost paralyzed by the fear that accompanies worry. In those times I wasn’t giving the lives of my family over to God—I was dwelling on my limited ability to secure them.
I’m guessing I’m not alone. Even the most carefree person must have a concern now and then. Perhaps some folks have just gotten past clinging to what makes them fret.
On vacation last year, we met the most laid-back person I’ve ever seen. He was our kayak guide, and he was the stereotypical beach guy. He owned his own business but seemed chill whether he had customers or not. He was a man of the sea, knowledgeable about nature and the history of the area. He did what he loved and loved what he did.
His secret? He moved to get away from the rat race. He said 30 years ago he’d been overwhelmed with worries all the time in his job in Pennsylvania. After heading to an island on vacation, he asked himself, why go back to all his burdens? So he and his wife packed up and moved out of their worrisome culture and to a place where he could live and work in nature. “I can’t imagine ever moving back,” he told us.
That’s big—to be so ensnared by concerns that he physically removed himself to get relief. But we do the same in different degrees. We dive into a book or get lost in a movie or go on vacation or even get a new job or move to a new home to escape our worries.
I believe God works through all of these things to bring us joy and relaxation from worry. The key is to give our worries over to God and not just run away because it’s the only way we can control the situation.
I hope you and I continue to find moments and days when we free ourselves from worry. I hope we break our addiction and hand over our fears to God. It’s hard. But he wouldn’t ask us to do it if it were impossible. Let’s remind ourselves: God is good; we can trust him.
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