You want to hear some pathetic? I was looking for this post the other day. I was certain I had written a post about Worry at some point, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Yesterday I noticed I had two drafts–I knew about one, but couldn’t remember the second. Yep, there was my post about worry. Just some notes, waiting to be written into a post. I can be such an airhead sometimes!
So what I thought I had written weeks ago is what Linda Dillow has to say about worry in her book, “Calm My Anxious Heart.” (Click the Linda Dillow tag on the right to see my other posts on this book.) I loved her discussion of God’s character. She writes about how He is trustworthy, faithful, and eternal. His goodness and power are constants, despite our changing circumstances. We know about God’s character from His Word, which also does not change. Truth is truth, regardless of our feelings and situation.
So when difficulties come, we can choose to worry, or we can choose to trust the One who is trustworthy. Dillow writes, “When What Ifs come into our lives, we must ask ourselves if we’re going to judge God by the circumstances we don’t understand or judge the circumstances in light of the character of God” (p. 160).
One reason I struggle with worry so often is that I am too focused on the future and possible troubles that could come my way. Almost all of the possible events I worry about never happen. Dillow included a quote from George McDonald that really spoke to me about this: “It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It’s when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear” (p. 190). I’m trying to focus more on what God is calling me to do right now and not borrow trouble from tomorrow.
In Dillow’s discussion of faith, she writes: “We say we want more faith, but really what we want is sight. Sight says, ‘I see that it’s good for me, so God must have sent it,’ but faith says, ‘God sent it, so it must be good for me.’ God asks us to walk by faith, not by sight” (p. 151). This was so convicting for me. I love information. I hate surprises. I want to know everything, and I want to be the first to know. But God asks me to trust Him, even when I don’t have all the information.
Dillow includes two examples of this type of faith from Scripture. In Exodus 14, the Israelites are fleeing Egypt. During a long, dark night, they can hear the Egyptians closing in, and they are terrified. They cannot see that during the night, God is working to save them by parting the Red Sea.
In Habakkuk, God tells the prophet Habakkuk that his people are going to be conquered by a nation known for its cruelty. Habakkuk asks God why He will allow this to happen, but God does not provide an answer. Habakkuk must endure the suffering, relying on God’s faithfulness and character. In the midst of devastation and an uncertain future, Habakkuk chooses to rejoice in the Lord: Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places (Habakkuk 3:17-19). I had never read Habakkuk before, and I recommend it to you. It is only three chapters, so it is a quick read.
Just like the Israelites and Habakkuk, sometimes we are required to walk through a dark night without knowing why or how it will end. Even without all the information we’d like to have, we know that God’s Word is true and His goodness never falters. We can trust that no matter what storm is blasting through our life, from God’s eternal perspective, we are safe in His hands.