I’m a worrier. Even as a child I worried. Back then, I mostly worried about getting in trouble. I was terrified of being in trouble. In school, if I was even next to the kid that got in trouble, I would get upset. As if my proximity to them meant I was in trouble too.
Now, as a grown-up, I have grown-up fears. Like my childhood fears, my fears have to do with my proximity. I worry about the people closest to me: my children, my husband, my family. I worry about their safety, their health, and their happiness. Worry and worst-case-scenarios soon flood my thoughts, drowning out my peace, leaving me gasping. I need someone to hold to, to save me.
I try to be my own someone, but have you ever seen someone rescue themselves from drowning? When I was young, I got caught in the undertow while swimming at the beach one summer. It was terrifying. I remember trying to swim out from the ocean’s powerful pull. But, despite my best effort, I could not escape the pull. I only exhausted myself. Soon, my dad was there. He pulled me to safety.
When I try to control my worries on my own, I get nowhere. The shore is still far off. I exhaust myself instead. I exhaust myself cleaning so no one gets sick. I exhaust myself as I hover over my children so that they don’t get hurt. I exhaust myself worrying about what I see on the news. I exhaust myself playing out worst-case scenarios over and over again in my mind. I place limits on myself and my family because I’m afraid of what might happen. My world becomes tiny.
On my own I can try to fear less. But when I allow God to be in control, I can be fearless.
But now, this is what the Lord says, Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you, when you walk through fire you will not be burned-the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43)
This is one of my favorite verses. It reminds me that I have no need to fear, that I am His. That the worst could happen, but He will be there. In verse 2 He says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” The Message version of Isaiah 43:2 says it like this, “When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.”
Worrying can quickly make me feel in over my head. 1 Peter 5:7 reminds me to “cast all my worries on him, because He cares for me.” Psalm 68:19 reminds me that He carries my heavy loads everyday! I don’t have to exhaust myself. I can bring my worries to my Heavenly Father in prayer. And He will protect my heart and my mind with His peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
This is the message our Heavenly Father gives us through His Word, no matter what, He will be there. He cares. That the worst could happen, but He will not allow it to overwhelm us. He will pull us to safety.
Thank you for being a God who cares! Your Word reminds us that we do not need to be afraid because we are Yours. You are always in control. Thank you that we can cast our worries on You when we pray. When our flesh forgets, when we try to be in control, help us remember Your promises.