Worry – Givin’ It Up: for Lent and Beyond

“This Can’t Be Happening!”

Kathleen Thach -- May 4, 2013

It was a gorgeous September morning.  Birds were singing.  The sun was shining.  And I was preoccupied with a power struggle I’d just had with a 7 year-old in the YMCA’s Before School program. 

Within a few minutes, my worrisome thoughts about Sammy — and my breakfast preparation — were interrupted by a news report, of what I initially believed was an ‘over-and-done’ incident.  Then it became apparent that something of catastrophic proportions was happening NOW, and I was watching it happen. 

I paused — frozen — in the doorway between the kitchen and the great room as I watched the second plane crash into one of the Twin Towers.  I watched as the scene switched to our nation’s capital.

I looked out through the open patio door.  I needed to be grounded in reality.  There was no crisis.  Not in my world.  My world was peaceful and calm.  Birds were singing.  The sun was shining.  The smell of eggs and toast permeated the house.  How could this be? Would the destruction and madness a few hundred miles north of here come “nigh unto my house”?          

I was no longer worried about Sam.  Graver worries filled my mind and heart.  I was relieved when a friend called to tell me a prayer meeting was being called at our church.

Yes, I’d be there! I needed the security of corporate prayer.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  (Psalm 46:1-3 NIV)

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  (Psalm 91:1-4 NIV)

 

Father, You are my refuge, my fortress, my rock, my shield!  Thank you for the comfort of your word in times of trouble.  When our hearts “fail us for fear”, may we remember to trust in you.  Amen

 

Points to Ponder

What are the most frightening times you remember?

How did you get through those times?

What brought you a sense of peace or security or comfort?

 


“You Don’t Owe An Explanation”

Kathleen Thach -- April 27, 2013

   
For many people, marriage has not been the kind that starts with “once upon a time” and ends with “and they lived happily ever after. ”
 

Having been a counselor for more than 15 years now, I’m used to hearing the “not so happy ever after” stories of marriage and divorce.  Subsequent marriages.  Subsequent divorces.

But more than thirty years ago, I was the client, not the counselor.

“When I see things as other people are going to see them, I worry. ” (I decided I could trust my therapist with that much of my pain, if not the whole of it. ) “But when I see things the way they really are, I’m okay. ”

My therapist was gentle, kind and yet direct, when he needed to be.  I didn’t like some of the questions he had asked me, but gradually I had come to trust that he was there to help me through a very hard time.

I’ve never forgotten his words that particular day, the day I worried aloud, “But what will other people think?”

“You don’t owe anyone an explanation,” he said.  “Those who care about you won’t demand one, and those who demand one, don’t really care. ”

Whoa!  That WAS something new to think about.  And slowly—very slowly—I stopped worrying about what other people would think.  Well, almost stopped worrying.

I discovered he was right.  Some whom I had counted on to be understanding weren’t.  Some whom I was sure wouldn’t understand at all did.  

And I started to heal from my emotional pain—and move on.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  (Matthew 7:1-5 NIV)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  (Romans 3:23-24 NIV)

Lord, how many are my foes!  How many rise up against me!  Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’  But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.  I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. (Psalm 3:1-4 NIV)

 

Father, forgive me for worrying so much about what others will think.  Thank you for reminding me through your word and through others, that none of us is in a position to judge another.  Thank you for your forgiveness and mercy and compassion.  Keep me, Lord, from hanging my head in shame.  Amen.

 
Points to Ponder
 

Have you ever been tormented by “What will so-and-so think”?

What do you fear others will think of you in certain situations?
(It may be helpful to list situations and what you fear others will or have thought of you in those situations.)
 

What is so troubling about the thought of someone thinking the worst about you?

Has what “others might think” influenced your choices?


“Is This How My Clients Feel?”

Kathleen Thach -- April 20, 2013

I remember waking during the night with extreme uneasiness.  No, it was more than uneasiness.  It was full-blown anxiety.  I longed for morning.  Daylight seems to relieve a lot of night-time anxiety. I couldn’t get back to sleep.  My mind wouldn’t turn off.  I remembered the questions I routinely asked my clients.

“Does your mind seem to race?”

“Do you turn the same things over and over in your mind?”

Somehow I was feeling a kinship to my anxious and depressed clients—and I was feeling a whole lot more empathy and compassion.

My professional life was unstable.  Not enough money was coming in to pay all my expenses.  Clients weren't paying; some even believed I shouldn’t be charging for services since I was a Christian counselor.

My half-hearted attempt to find a salaried job with benefits wasn’t going well.  I was “over-qualified” for jobs I had considered.  Or I wasn’t certified for jobs I was willing to consider.

I was too young for retirement.  Too old for starting over.  Or so I told myself.

I worried.  I doubted my abilities and skills.  I questioned whether I really had been called of God to do the work of counseling.  Old tapes of “Who do you think you are?” played over in my mind.

Then I remembered a time nearly 20 years earlier when I had awakened before dawn with Philippians 4:19 (KJV) going through my mind.  It played over and over again, in abbreviated form: God will supply MY need with HIS riches.  My need.  His riches.  My need.  His riches.

Then, as now, the pronouns were emphasized. 

My resources are limited and easily exhausted.  God’s are without limit and cannot be exhausted.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.  (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:19 NIV)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  (Ephesians 3:20-31 NIV)

 

Forgive me, Father, for trusting my own resources—my talents, my education, my skills, my experience, my career.  Father, they can be exhausted so quickly.  Thank you for providing all my needs according to your inexhaustible riches.  Amen

 

Points to Ponder

 

What needs to you have right now that require God’s resources?

How can you receive from God’s supply?

 


Self Defense: “But I Didn’t Do It!”

Kathleen Thach -- April 13, 2013

One of my “worst fears” is the fear of being falsely accused.  I have experienced false accusations.  And, I’ve worked hard at overcoming that fear.  [

Sometimes, however, I become preoccupied with the “what ifs”.  What if someone sues me? What if someone slanders me, gossips about me? What if someone lies about me? What if?

I remember having a pastor’s wife once tell me, “Kitty, don’t worry.  God will vindicate you. ” I had only a vague idea of what “vindicate” meant, but it sounded like what I needed and wanted.  It means to defend with success; to clear of blame.

And I’ve come to know that Jesus is my attorney, the One who pleads my case before my accusers.  I don’t have to do it. There is no better defense attorney in the world.

But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. (Luke 21:14-15 NIV)

Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.   (Psalms 55:22 NIV)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you . . .  (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.  (Hebrews 13:6 KJV)

 

Lord, thank you for being my defense.  Forgive me for trying to vindicate myself, for “getting defensive”.  Help me to focus on your sovereignty, your purposes, and your plans for my life.  Amen.

 

Points to Ponder

Have you been falsely accused of anything?

How did you feel?

What did you do?


“I Want You — Everyone –- To Like Me”

Kathleen Thach -- April 6, 2013

We’d enjoyed a good time of fellowship, bible study and refreshments at the Thompson’s home.  It was part of our monthly meeting of the Friendship Builder’s Class.

I don’t remember what the lesson was about, but I do remember that I said a lot during the discussion.

I remember coming home and feeling unsettled.  I thought about everything I had said.  I replayed it all.  And I worried about what my class members had thought.  About me.

I finally decided to call Carrie, our teacher, and ask her if I had “talked too much. ”

Carrie was very helpful in putting me at ease.  She told me she thought what I said was appropriate and that she believed I had a lot of insight.

I felt better.  I had received approval. 

When we ended the conversation, Carrie said in her typical light-hearted, joking style, “Talk to you later, Know-it-all.”

I knew she was kidding, but I was brought back to my “approval-seeking” worry. 

Was she really kidding?

  . . . . Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you . . . . . We have different gifts, according to the grace given to us . . . . .  (Romans 12:3 & 6 NIV)  
  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. ( II Timothy 2:15 NIV)  

 

Father, I want to be a student of your word; I want to hear from you, to have insight and discernment into the spirit and application of your word.  Father, let knowing you and pleasing you be my only concern, not whether anyone approves or disapproves.  Keep me from sinful pride; keep me from seeking a name for myself.  May you receive all praise and glory.  Amen.

 

Thoughts to Ponder

Whose approval is especially important to you?

How does it feel when you don’t get that approval?

How does it feel when you DO get that approval?

How is your sense of “worth” connected to others’ approval of you?


“Jesus Is Mine!”

Kathleen Thach -- March 30, 2013

Music has been an important part of my life from my earliest days.  I can remember singing “a solo” at the age of four.  “Jesus loves me this I know.  For the bible tells me so.”

Kitty at 4

My grandparents lived in Bellegrove, PA, and every year, just before Christmas, Pappy would take me shopping at the Bon Ton.  In the basement the walls were lined with toys and I’d pick out the things I liked.  Sure enough I’d find them under the tree at Christmas.  One year I picked out the Glockenspiel that’s on the table in the picture at the left..

In third grade I took piano lessons for three months and learned enough to do some simple sight reading.  Before that, my mother had taught me to play “by ear”.  I learned to pick out the melody with my right hand and add chords with the left.

Kitty (on right) with her Mother, Arlene Yorty in 1957

I got a guitar when I was twelve and learned four chords, enough to join my mother on her accordion as we played and sang gospel music in churches. 

We would also visit shut-ins taking the guitar and accordion with us and sing for them.  The  picture at the right was taken in the backyard of an elderly lady who lived alone in Bernville, PA.

Music lifted my depression.

I recall at one low point of my life, sitting at the piano, starting at the beginning of a hymn book and learning to play each hymn.  I sang, and the words and melodies replaced my worry with faith and hope and joy.

Today I have the reputation of knowing all the hymns in the hymnbook. 

One song that touched me deeply during those times of “singing through the hymnbook” was “Fade, Fade Each Earthly Joy.  Jesus is mine!”

  Is any one of you in trouble?  He should pray.  Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.  (James 5:13 NIV)  
  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Ephesians 5:19 NIV)  


Thank you, Lord, for music.  Music for times of sorrow.  Music for times of joy.  Music to cheer.  Music to inspire. 

Thank you for being the reason for the song.  Amen.

 

Thoughts to Ponder

When you are worried or feeling depressed, how might music comfort you?

Can you say, “Jesus is mine”?

How is He “yours”?

What difference does Jesus make in your life?


“Lord, I’ll Do What I Can and Trust You for the Rest”

Kathleen Thach -- March 23, 2013

Throughout periods of my life, I’ve been depressed.  I remember a day when I was lying on the couch, depressed.  There was plenty to be done, but I didn’t feel like getting up and doing any of it.

I worried, which was a big part of my depression.  I grieved.  I grieved losses.  I regretted decisions.  Life wasn’t going the way I had hoped.  I cried.  I prayed. 

Eventually, I got around to thinking about my lack of control over so many things that had happened and were happening in my life.

And, eventually, I prayed, “Lord, I can’t do anything about all of this, but I can do the dishes in the sink.  I don’t feel like getting up from this couch, but I will.  I’m going to get up and do the dishes as a sign to you that I’m trusting you to do for me what I can’t do for myself. ”

In essence, I began to think more rationally.  I did have some control over some things.  My prayers reflected that thinking.  My energy needed to be applied to those things I HAD control over, not to worrying about those things I had NO control over.

  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.   (Philippians 4:13 NIV)  
  O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise: you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.  You hem me in — behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain .  .  .  .  .  .  .  If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.   (Psalm 139: 1-6 &11-12 NIV)


Father, thank you for doing for me what I cannot do for myself.  Thank you for lifting the darkness.   Amen.

Thoughts to Ponder
 

 What could you be doing today — besides worrying?

What do you have control over?

How might doing something help you stop worrying, lift your depression?


“It Doesn’t Matter”

Kathleen Thach -- March 16, 2013

At some point in my life, I began to realize that my list titled “It Doesn’t Matter” was growing longer and longer and longer.  I also realized that my other list titled “It Does Matter” was shrinking by the same proportions.

Something had to matter, or life would not be worth living.

I look back on those days of worry and depression, and I feel compassion, empathy, sadness, and kindness toward the young woman I had become.

I look back, and I’m glad Jesus was so real in her life.  My life.  I am reminded that Jesus is all we need when He is all we have.

Today, I know, that part of having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ includes having a long list of things that matter.  He adds to life; he doesn’t take from life.

Depression and worry are robbers. 

By God’s mercy, through the love and caring of friends and family, through growing in grace, I now have a long list of things that matter.  Life is full and rich.  While earthly joys cannot compare to the joy of salvation, Christ DOES enhance all other joys.

  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.   John 10:10 (NIV)  
  Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.   I Timothy 6:17 (NIV)  


Father, thank you for giving me life — abundant life.  Thank you for moving me from mere existence to fullness of joy.   Let me order my life according to your purposes and plans.  May those things that matter most to You matter most to me.   Amen.

 

Thoughts to Ponder
 

Get a sheet of paper and run a line from top to bottom down the middle of the page.  Make two columns:

 
It Doesn't Matter
 
 
It Matters
         


  How do you like your lists?

Is there an imbalance?

Would you like to move some things to the other column?

How might your faith in Christ help you to do that?


“Lord, I Can’t Spin Any More Plates!”

Kathleen Thach -- March 9, 2013

Those of you who are old enough to remember Ed Sullivan’s Talent Show MIGHT remember the plate spinners.

The suspense would mount as the plate spinner added yet another plate.  How did he do it? Surely, any minute, a plate — more likely ALL the plates — were going to fall and shatter into millions of pieces.

Now, honestly, I don’t have the physical rhythms or coordination to be a plate spinner.

But I’ve BEEN a plate spinner in a figurative sense. 

I remember being the “old-fashioned” mom who did it all.  Cooked, baked, cleaned, did laundry and hung it on the line to dry.  Ironed, mended, sewed, wallpapered, gardened, canned and froze fruits and vegetables.  Taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, worked in VBS, took kids to piano lessons, hosted Child Evangelism Fellowship meetings, etc. , etc.  etc.

LOTS of multi-tasking, as we’ve come to call it!

I remember one June when the plates started falling.  I COULDN’T spin any more.  I COULDN’T go to VBS that night, much less teach as I was scheduled to do.  I had nothing left to give.  I remembered lyrics from a song I once enjoyed singing.  “I’m going to give, give ‘til there’s no more to give.”

I guess I thought that would never happen.  I’d always be able to keep on going and giving.

I did “nothing” that night, if lying in a hammock and reading fiction is “nothing.”

Years later I was in counseling, and my counselor commented, “It sounds like you were super human.”

I almost took offense, almost decided he was being sarcastic.  I decided, instead, to give him the benefit of the doubt.  And I responded, honestly, “I didn’t know I had a choice!”

I know better today.  I know I have choices.  Saying no is a choice.  No extra plates, thank you.

  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.    Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)  

 

Father, I’m so grateful you didn’t say, ‘When you are weak and weary, come unto me and I’ll scold you for it.’  I’m so grateful you didn’t say, ‘Come unto me and I’ll give you one more thing to do.’  Thank you for giving me rest.  Forgive me when I “try to do it all.”  Forgive me for not taking time for rest and spiritual renewal.   Amen.


Thoughts to Ponder

Have you ever felt like you were spinning one too many plates? When?

Do you worry about “dropping a plate”?

Do you worry about dropping over from exhaustion?

Which “plate” will you voluntarily “bring down”?

Think about saying “No” to extra plates! Then, do it!
 

 


“I Don’t Drink!”

Kathleen Thach -- March 2, 2013

Throughout my life I had been taught that drinking alcohol is wrong.  We didn’t have alcohol in our home.  My parents didn’t drink.  My grandparents didn’t drink.  I only knew of one person who did.  I heard his wife and my mom talk about the foolish things he said and did when he was drunk.

Our church had a Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  WCTU.  One Sunday a month, individuals would read short stories with admonitions about the evils of alcohol.

As a senior in High School, I received the WCTU award for Christian Character.  Each year one girl and one boy in the senior class were chosen to receive the award.  Later I joked about it, saying I had received the award because I was the girl who “didn’t do anything”.  I didn’t drink, dance, smoke, run around, or swear.

I also didn’t realize just how defended I had become against drinking.  At least not until our first High School Class Reunion.

I expected alcohol to be there, and I knew I would not drink.  But I was worried about being offered a drink.

When my husband and I arrived at the High School, our class president greeted us.  Almost immediately I heard him say, “The bar .  .  .  . ”, as he motioned to his left. 

Almost immediately I said, “No, thank you. ”

He looked perplexed and repeated the words and motions.  “The bar .  .  .  . ”

Again I said, “No, thank you. ”

This time he said, “Kitty, yes you do know Barb!”

And, of course, I knew his date, the woman he was politely drawing my attention toward.  Barb and my husband were cousins.

But all I had heard was “bar”.  I was hearing through my defensiveness.

  Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
II Corinthians 3:5 – 6 (NIV)
 
  Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak .   .   .   .  When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.   I Corinthians 8:9, 12-13  

 

Father, thank you for pointing out my legalistic tendencies.  Father, help me always to be more concerned about the spirit of law than the letter of law.  May your love fill me and flow through me to all I meet.  May I forget myself and remember your perfect love and your command that I love others.  Father, make me sensitive to the conscience of others, that I might never let my freedom stand in the way of someone coming to know you and trust you.    Amen


Thoughts to Ponder

 

Can you think of any ways in which you have worried about your “righteousness”
to the point that it has interfered with your ability to listen and to hear others?

Could some of your worry be tied in with your legalism or rigidity?

Do you see “shades of gray”, or is everything “black or white”?


“Watch Out!  Be Careful!”

Kathleen Thach -- February 23, 2013

Andy was at the age where he wanted to help.  This particular day, he was my shadow.  Whatever I was doing, he was there, wanting to help.  Actually, he wanted to “do it myself”.

I started vacuuming the living room, and he wanted to do the vacuuming.  At first, it was cute.  To see this little fellow trying to maneuver the big vacuum cleaner.  To see how helpful he was trying to be.

But then I began to “worry” aloud. 

“Watch out! Don’t bump the sweeper into the baseboard.  You’ll put nicks on the wall. ”

He’d try so hard to do it right, but, as all two year olds and many grownups do, he would go too fast and get too close, and my “nagging” would start all over.

“Andy, you have to be careful, honey.  If you put marks on the wall, we’ll have to repaint it.”  Etcetera.  Etcetera.  Nagging Ad Nauseam. 

The language of worry: Don’t.  Watch out.  Look out.  Be careful.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.

It robs us and others of many joys, including the joy of helping.  It robs self-confidence.  It nicks self esteem. 

I realized then that my worry about nicks in the baseboard was putting far more serious nicks in the heart of my little boy. 

  Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.   Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)  
  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.   Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)  


Father, teach me to put the value of a child above the value of a wall.  Teach me to focus on the intent of the heart, the desire to please, and to help.  Help me see and accept it as love in action.

Forgive me, Father, where I’ve criticized others’ acts of service and diminished their worth and joy.

Father, thank you, that you don’t treat your children the way I’ve treated mine.  You accept my acts of service, in all their imperfections.   Amen

Thoughts to Ponder

Could some of your worries come from misplaced priorities?

What matters most to you: people or things?


“Crossing the Bridge Before You Get To It”

Kathleen Thach -- February 16, 2013

Reader’s Digest was very generous, now that I think about it.  I actually got their standard rejection letter in response to a hand-written article I’d submitted ‘cold’, unsolicited.

My article, as I recall, was written after a major “ah-hah” in my life.  I was in my early twenties, married with babies, and I had gained some startling, to me, insight into the folly of worry.

I hadn’t done things in the normal sequence.  For one thing, I didn’t get my driver’s permit and license at 16.  I was 20 and pregnant with my second child when I did have that milestone experience.

And I worried my way through it.  I didn’t want to get behind the wheel and drive.  But I did want the security and independence of driving.

During the learning-to-drive process, I remember getting behind the wheel and worrying about a bridge I would need to cross on the way to my sister-in-law’s home, a bridge at least five miles away.  I could picture the bridge; it grew increasingly narrow and dangerous as I focused on it.

My rejected Reader’s Digest article expounded on the foolishness of worrying about crossing bridges — literally and figuratively — before getting to them. 

I had looked back over my 20 years of life and had come to a startling realization.  Things I worried about didn’t happen.  The bad things that did happen were things I had never known could happen.  They just happened.  And, by God’s grace, I survived.  And I grew.

I had navigated some pretty difficult times without the “benefit” of worry.  And I had worried about things that never came to pass.  My worry had been a waste of time and energy.  I could have been thinking about and doing more pleasant things.

 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
 
 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me: your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
 
 

But he knows the way I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. Job 23:10  (NIV)

 

Lord, thank you for bringing me through difficult times, for protecting me when I didn’t even know I was in danger, and for forgiving me when I repeated my worries instead of repeating your promises. Free me from foolish worry.   Amen

Thoughts to Ponder

Have the things you’ve worried about “come to pass”?

Have you survived difficult times?

What have you missed out on because of worry?


“Pretend You Worry About Me”

Kathleen Thach -- February 9, 2013

I looked up from my dinner preparation as David, my seven-year-old son, was asking me to play a game with him.  This time he wanted to play a “pretend” game.  I was curious, at first.  Usually, it was my daughter, Beth, who played “pretend” games, taking on the character of girls in her favorite TV sit-coms. 

My curiosity was short-lived, because Dave was already suggesting a pretend game.

“How ‘bout we pretend that I’m in the Marines,” he said.  Then he added, “And you worry about me.”

No longer curious, I was now amused and somewhat sobered.  He had been observing family members and gained some insight into family dynamics.  His Uncle Johnny was in the Marines, and his grandmother — Uncle Johnny’s mom — actively worried about him.  She worried aloud.

I wonder if Dave thought it was pretty cool to be a son with a mom worrying about him.  I wonder if that looked like love to him. 

I’m sure we played the pretend game that day, but I don’t remember anything specific about it.  I do know that since that time — and well before that time — I’ve worried for real about my three children.

  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,  for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 (NIV)  
  When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified.  Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.   Job 1:5 (NIV)  
 

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.   Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

 

Lord, thank you for loving my children even more than I do; thank you for watching over them, for being their perfect parent, their savior, their protector, their guide.   Transform my worry for them into loving action.   Amen

 

Thoughts to Ponder

What worries do parents, in general, have concerning their children?

If you are a parent/grandparent, what worries do you have now regarding your children/grandchildren?

How is worrying helping your children/grandchildren?

How is worrying helping you?