Day 4: Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder
Taken in part from Chapter 9
© 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.
Food for Thought: She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40 NIV)
When life gets overwhelming, do you ever start to wonder if God notices and cares about everything you have going on—like how hard you’re trying to take care of your family, pay the bills, find time for Bible study, your marriage and the ministry He’s called you to while working two jobs, caring for your aging parents, commuting to work, and carpooling your kids?
Several years ago, I was having a hard time balancing my life, and there were days when I wondered if God noticed and cared about all I was doing. I didn’t understand why He wasn’t taking better care of the details in my days so things would run more smoothly. Sometimes I felt like He might be expecting too much of me.
Looking back now, I can see that I was expecting too much of myself. The truth is, I was doing a lot of good things, but not all of them were God’s things for me during that season of my life. I had ended up in a place where I was serving God more than I was seeking God. Finally, I came to a point where I was exhausted and ready to resign from just about everything.
Eventually I ran out of fuel. I didn’t have enough energy to handle all of my roles, relationships, and responsibilities. I also ran out of faith, which made me start doubting my ability to manage my life, to hear God clearly, and to do all I assumed He wanted me to do.
My life was out of balance and so was my heart. I had taken on too many commitments, and I worried about all of them all of the time. I knew I should trust God more, but I was secretly afraid that if I stopped worrying about everything and everybody He would too. And all that worry started making me weary.
One day, while reading my Bible, I noticed how Martha’s worries were making her weary, and making her wonder if Jesus cared that her sister left her in the kitchen all by herself to do all that work. Listen to how Jesus responded: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41–42 NIV)
How do we choose what is better? How do we find confident peace and assurance that God notices and cares? First Peter 5:7 tells us: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (NLT).
The apostle Paul tells us how: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6–7 NLT)
It sounds so doable, but why is it so hard? I think it’s because Satan whispers the opposite. He says, “Don’t be calm about anything; instead worry about everything. Tell God what He should do. Then take control if He doesn’t listen.”
The enemy wants our concerns to consume us like acid in our hearts, eroding our confidence with worry and doubt! I say it’s time for us to stop listening to him and start listening to and living in God’s promises instead. When our concerns become consuming, let’s commit to:
Stop worrying—Press the pause button on our consuming concerns.
Start praying—Talk to God about all we’re doing and ask Him if there’s anything we need to cut back so we have time to seek Him as much as we serve Him and others.
Keep thanking God—Thank God for what He’s done in the past and will do in the future. This helps us remember how good He is at being God.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts. When concerns consume me, remind me that You are with me, holding me by my right hand and guiding me with Your counsel. I want to seek You as much as I serve You and others. Help me balance my life and give my burdens to You, knowing with confidence that You care about me and are good at taking care of me! In Jesus’ name, Amen. (See Psalm 139:23; 73:23–26)
Doubt Diet Tip: Lose the weight of worry by “giving all your worries and cares to the Lord because He cares for you!” Write your concerns on an index card and give them to Jesus. I have a tabletop cross by my bedside where I lay my “concerns card.” Maybe you could get one too. Then, when you start worrying, go back and write your worries on your card, and commit once again to cast your cares upon the Lord. Also, write a promise on a card and carry it with you today. Here’s a link to More Peace-Giving Promises
Let’s Talk: What is one concern you want to lay down at the foot of the Cross today? I’d love for us to pray for each other and bear one another’s burdens.
Please return to my website (if you’re reading this via email), then scroll to the bottom of today’s post and click on “Share Your Thoughts” so you can let us know how to pray for you. If you’re not comfortable sharing details, just say “Pray for me please.”
Laying it down: My biggest concern is my mom. While I was flying home from speaking all weekend in IL, my husband was rushing mom to the hospital. She’s in ICU with large blood clots in both lungs. One is very close to the main artery that leads to her heart. We’re praying and trusting God is not surprised by any of this – although we were. Today’s devotion had already been written – just for me (wink!). And my closing message on Saturday was about Jesus calling us to come to Him – when we’re weary and burdened with worry – so that we can find rest for our souls (Matt 11:38-39), rest in His presence, rest in His plans and rest in His promises. He’s gone ahead of me and left gifts of peace and reminders of His promises along my path. I pray you see His hand in the timing of today’s devotion and His heart for you, too.