Friday, December 21, 2007

Is It Biblical to Worry?

I have often heard that worrying is a lack of trust in God. As a mother who often worries about her family, this is a comment that concerns me. After looking to the Bible for the answer I found that worry (or being anxious) is a balance. On the one side if we don't worry we lead ourselves and our families down the path of destruction. As the mother of a baby or toddler, my worries led me to cover the electrical outlets in my home, place a baby gate at the top of the stairs, and not leave my son on his changing table while I leave to do another chore. As the mother of an adolescent, worry has led me to teach my child not to run in front of cars and has led to sometimes fighting the school systems and doctors to get the best care possible for my son.

A good example of worry prompting a mother to do the right thing is Kelly (The Barefoot Mama) who, when her daughter's dentist made a recommendation that she was convinced was not in her daughter's best interest, got a second opinion and researched options before making a final decision. Read the details here.

The other side of worry is crippling, it would lead us to never leave our homes and never be able to decide the best course of action for fear of making a mistake. Also, my worries are due to my own inadequacies rather than any inadequacies in God. I believe God does protect and provide us with all our needs and one of His provisions is parents—parents that He has tasked with caring for ("worrying about") about the child's needs.

The reason this came to my mind this week was two-fold

  • The first reason is the terrible events that occur too often in our society today:The shootings at Virginia Tech, the Amish schoolhouse or the recent one at the missionary center. The families had no idea when they began their day that some madman would decide to take the lives of their loved ones, not because of who they were but because of where they were. How can we as parents prevent this? The answer is we can't, we must trust in God.
  • The second reason this came to my mind is through re-reading of the Biblical account of Christ's birth. I can't imagine what Mary's thoughts and fears were. The Bible tells us that she was honored among women, however she was human. Can you imagine the fear as she and Joesph found no place to stay in Bethlehem with the impending birth of her first child. What would our reaction be if we were led to a place were the animals lived. I know I would have not been a happy camper. She would have known that God was protecting her, but this couldn't have been easy.

    Then to have to flee in the night to Egypt, because the ruler of the country had decreed that their child was to be killed; then when he wasn't found all the male children in Bethlehem under two years of age were to be killed. Can you imagine! Then there were the normal worries that we all have as mothers as a toddler takes his first steps (after all Jesus wasn't born walking and talking.) She must have at times felt the weight of her inadequacies as I do.
So I will continue to let my concerns drive me to train and protect my family while not allowing Satan to let my fears control my life.


Kelly (The Barefoot Mama) said...

Kim! I just popped in and saw this post - I am so honored that you mentioned me! You don't know how great that makes me feel. :o) The situation with Grace's teeth was just so difficult on me, especially considering how small she was and the overload (and "underload" from dental professionals, if you know what I mean) of information was hard to handle at first.

You are such an example of a godly wife, mother and woman. This post has really been a blessing to me, and I'm sure that other readers will feel the same way. In fact, I was discussing Biblical worrying with my dad last night. We were talking about how being preoccupied with the future and not focusing on the present is destructive, and your post reinforces that there's a difference between that and being concerned with "today". How true!! Being inclined to worry is a result of us being sinful creatures, and it's amazing that Jesus wants to take our cares and concerns and replace them with His guidance, love and prosperity. For all of those times that I laid awake in my life filled with worry and tumult, it just continues to make me in awe that our wonderful Lord can top those feelings of anxiety with His love.

Your last line, "I will continue to let my concerns drive me to train and protect my family while not allowing Satan to let my fears control my life" sums it up perfectly. I'm totally passing that along! ;o)

Thanks for this post, Kim - and I hope that you guys are having a wonderful Friday evening!! We're actually doing a little last-minute shopping tonight after MG wakes up for a nap. She's going over to her very happy, eager-to-see-her grandparents house. :o)

Kerry said...

Hi, Just doing my Sunday School lesson prep. and the lesson is on Worrying. The lesson writer is TOO simplistic. Just because we may worry, that does not mean we do not trust God!
You made some great points, and it leads my lesson planning in a different avenue! THANKS!!!