10 September 2011

Letting Go

Worry. It's a biggie. For all of us. Especially me. I don't think there's a single person on this planet, perhaps apart from a tiny baby that hasn't yet learnt how, who hasn't been faced with the agonising burden of worry at some point in their lives.

Some of us worry more than others. I know I am one of them. I don't even have as much reason to as others who are living in challenging circumstances, faced with poverty, poor health or fractured and broken relationships. But sometimes I wonder if I just like to worry. It makes me feel as if I'm giving a problem its due consideration. But what am I really doing when I worry?

Failing to put my trust in God. Again.

On one hand I'm saying to him 'Yes I believe that you can do all and through all' but what I'm really doing is holding onto my problem like a spoilt child who won't share or let go of a toy.

I can't help but take that problem out of its box often, and look (worry) at it from every angle. I might put it away for a while thinking I'm done worrying, only to bring it out again a short while later, going over and over it in my mind.

And then I get plagued by worry about worry. Thinking 'I shouldn't be worrying about this, I should give it to God'. So I do, or at least I think I do. And yet, minutes, hours or days later, I find myself still thinking (worrying) about the very thing I thought I handed over and entrusted to Him? It's a frustrating and vicious cycle. One that I don't seem to be able to break.

It's not enough just to take my burden to Jesus. I must leave them there. And then forget them. Even it if means returning to lay them at His feet over and over and over again. For as long as it takes.
I wish I could be just as a little child believing that my Father will provide, will resolve.

A child lives by faith, and is completely carefree, because they trust in their parents implicitly. A child provides nothing for itself, and yet everything is provided. They never have a need to consider tomorrow or make plans, and yet all their life is planned out. A child finds their paths made ready, opening out as they need them hour by hour, day by day. A child lives in the present moment and receives its life unquestioningly as it comes day by day from their mother or father's hands. (Quote from The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith)

If your own little child was to suddenly start to worry whether they would have enough to eat or clothes to wear, and whether they could afford future education, wouldn't we as parents be upset that the child could even think these thoughts, and also really sad to think that they couldn't trust that we would provide everything they might ever need?

How much must God the Father also be grieved when He sees us taking so much anxious care and thought at every twist and turn of our lives!

Jesus even spoke directly about worry in Luke 12:22-28

'Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!"'

I know that worrying doesn't add a single hour to my life, in fact, if anything, it just wastes precious hours. So why doesn't this stop me from worrying in the first place?

I know I should take a leaf from a childlike approach. I know should let childish confidence and freedom from care be how I approach my Father. I need to give, really give, all my worries and cares to Him. Lay them to rest. Allow Him the opportunity to take care of me as his child.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your cares upon Him, for he cares for you.

The Amplified version also puts it well:

Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and watches over you.

In this instance, 'He cares' is not just 'cares about what happens to me', but as my father, he actually 'cares' as in 'looks after me' too.

I know that it's only when I can approach God with a childlike faith, trusting in Him to provide for my every need, can I really be free from this agonising burden of worry.

Only then will I find the peace that passes understanding. True Peace.
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