By Ashlea Massie
Worry is a result of our lack of control in life and, if we are being honest, our lack of trust in our God. If we’ve lost a job, we worry about how to provide in the meantime. When we lose a loved one, we worry about continuing on without them. So many circumstances in life can change the feeling of stability and security we felt just a day ago or a few minutes ago; within moments, all of a sudden, we’re worried. We think that if we could just get to the good outcome, the new job, the change from sickliness to healthiness, or the stability of a known future, we would be happy instead of anxious and worried. All our problems would be solved. But would they really?
Would God be a good God if he gave us everything our heart desired? What if those trials that come our way that cause us to worry were actually a tool used to draw us closer to God? What if the result of our trials doesn’t turn out the way we wanted? What if God doesn’t respond with a positive outcome? Where do we go from there?
Would It Be Enough?
Would it be enough? That’s the question I was facing as I worried about my job, wondering if I’d be able to make ends meet. And instead of remembering that God provides for all of our needs (Philippians 4:19), I forgot that and instead chose to worry over something I now had no control over. Because I was not in control anymore, I worried. And ultimately I worried because I secretly didn’t trust God. I worried that the outcome might not turn out how I wanted, so I prayed earnestly for God to make it good.
My circumstances didn’t change for months and then drew out into half a year. Because I knew it wouldn’t change for a very long time, I knew the best thing to do was to give my worry over to God and thank him for what I did have and what he would do in the future, regardless of the outcome.
I Will Rejoice
God doesn’t promise good outcomes—he wants us to rejoice in him no matter the circumstances.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
God wants us to say, “Lord, only you know the outcome. You’re the only one who can fix this, but if you don’t, I will choose to love you and continue to rejoice, no matter what.” And this is not easy to say, but when we are able to say this, we are surrendering our life to God’s control and allowing him to lead, giving God first place within our lives. It’s only then that God can use the situation for the betterment of our lives.
There’s no need for worrying because God has promised to always provide for us. We may not have much, but God provides regardless. Instead of worrying, relinquish control and give it to God. Spend time in sincere prayer, asking God to give you the ability to accept whatever outcome may occur. When you do this, you will find your worry decreasing. Choose to be like Habakkuk and say, “No matter what comes my way, I will praise you!”
Ashlea Massie is a graduate student and an English teacher in her home state of Texas.